Arizona State Law Journal Blog

Ninth Circuit Stays Federal Execution of Navajo Man

Mike Brown, J.D. Candidate, 2021 In October 2001, Lezmond Mitchell confessed to the murder of sixty-three-year-old Alyce Slim and her nine-year-old granddaughter. A jury convicted Mitchell and sentenced him to die for his crimes. Now, eighteen years after the killings, the Ninth Circuit has stayed Mitchell’s execution. The reason—potential racial bias by the jury who convicted him. Lezmond Mitchell is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, as were his victims. The killings occurred on tribal land, and thus fell under federal jurisdiction. The details are gruesome. Ms. Slim and her granddaughter were headed to New Mexico when they were violently

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PURPA’s Uncertain Future in Arizona’s Solar Energy Portfolio

Cory Bernard, J.D. 2021 Post-hearing briefs filed last week in a matter before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), plus a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, highlight fierce debates over a key weapon in solar developers’ arsenal. The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) became law in 1978 with goals that included encouraging renewable energy development and reducing consumer energy prices. It established a class of renewable energy producers that could achieve “qualified facility” (QF) status from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and thus enjoy certain benefits. Chief among these benefits is a QF’s ability

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City of Surprise v. Arizona Corporation Commission: How this Seemingly Straightforward Eminent Domain Case is Actually a Surprise Success for Renewable Energy Advocates

Marissa Arnold, J.D. Candidate, 2021 On March 28, 2019, the Supreme Court of Arizona issued the opinion for City of Surprise v. Arizona Corporation Commission and the decision impacts more than just the parties involved. Indeed, the court held that while the Arizona Corporation Commission has statutory authority to approve the sale or disposition of a public service corporation’s assets, the Commission does not have authority to require a utility to apply for approval of a city’s proposed condemnation of the utility’s assets. The decision could have major implications for Arizona municipalities, developers, utilities, and renewable energy advocates alike. The

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A Public Trial: Cameras in the Courtroom

Nicholas Ansel, J.D. Candidate, 2021 On September 19, the British Supreme Court held oral arguments over the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament. The Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to sidestep any opposition to his plan for Brexit. The Court, in a landmark ruling on constitutional common law and separation of powers, held that the suspension was unlawful. Equally interesting was that over four million people livestreamed the first day of oral arguments, surely interested in an issue that has dominated public discourse. The British Supreme Court has been in existence for a decade, all the

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Comment on Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix

Paul Bender, Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus, and Former Deputy Solicitor General of the United States The United States and the State of Arizona both have laws that prohibit businesses that serve the public from refusing to serve customers because of the customers’ race, sex, religion, national origin, or disability. Neither law includes sexual orientation among the bases for refusal of service that are prohibited. Phoenix, Tucson, Tempe, and Flagstaff, however, have each adopted anti-discrimination public‑accommodations ordinances that do apply to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. On September 16, in a decision that has received national attention, the

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Restricted: How College Athletes May Find Their Sought Remedy in a New Jurisdiction

Jake Abrahamian, J.D. Candidate, 2021 In March 2019, the Northern District of California decided the much-anticipated case in re National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletic Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation (NCAA Athletic Grant-in-Aid). Plaintiffs in the case were current and former Division I college football and basketball players who sued the NCAA, the governing body for college athletics. Plaintiffs alleged that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by artificially capping the compensation that member athletes receive for their athletic services to NCAA schools. The court held that, although the NCAA did violate antitrust law, the appropriate remedy is uncapping only compensation related to

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The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributors to the ASLJ Blog and should not be construed as the opinions of the
Arizona State Law Journal or the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.