ARIZONA – This week, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state constitution was violated when the legislature banned school mask mandates due to the way the bill was presented.
The Republican-controlled Legislature banned mandates along with a “series of other measures in unrelated budget bills,” but the state’s highest court, after two-hour deliberation, ruled that the law was, in fact, unconstitutional under the Arizona Constitution due to the way it was passed.
Arizona Representative Mark Finchem, who is also running for Secretary of State in 2022, issued a statement on the ruling, calling it an “unfortunate and ill-conceived development, depriving Arizonans of their rights and liberties and destroying Arizona’s election integrity on a technicality.”
The court sided with education groups who said that the requirement that subjects be “related and expressed in the title of bills” was violated by the legislature, ultimately disallowing the banning of mask mandates for schools in the process.
This Arizona Supreme Court Ruling hurts Arizona. https://t.co/yliAZbUdZx
— Mark Finchem (@RealMarkFinchem) November 5, 2021
By doing so, according to Finchem, “the Court is nullifying the will of the Arizona Legislature, itself representative of the will of the people of Arizona, for what amounts to little more than a typographical error. Rather than bend to the will of radical left-wing interest groups, the Court should have allowed the laws to remain in effect until that simple error could be corrected by the legislature.”
Finchem further stated that the purpose of the Legislature’s actions to begin with was because their “hands were forced when Governor Doug Ducey vetoed 32 bills of substantive law that would have benefited every parent with children in government-run schools and helped secure every future election.”
More simply put, had the courts simply ordered that the Legislature’s mistake was fixed rather than completely ruling against each item in the bills, the intent of the Legislature (and, by extension, the People) would have been left in tact. Instead, the Legislature will have to “work quickly to re-enact those measures separately,” Finchem said.
“We have to protect the integrity of the vote, a foundational issue for our national sovereignty and national security,” Finchem concluded. “We have to safeguard our rights and liberties, given to us by God, including the rights of parents to decide what is best for their children. Those are the priorities of the Legislature. So, too, they should be the priorities of the Court.”