United States v. The State of Arizona: A Battle for Voter Rights

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Reilly Cunnington. On July 5, 2022, the United States Department of Justice announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona. Specifically, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is challenging Arizona’s House Bill 2492 on the grounds that it violates Section 6 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) as well as Section 101 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. HB 2492, enacted in March 2022, requires all Arizona voters to provide proof of United States citizenship for certain federal elections. With Arizona already on the forefront of the fight for voter rights, this lawsuit extends a long line of contentious issues. The Fallout of the 2020 Election in Arizona Following the 2020 presidential election, claims of voter fraud and conspiracy theories…
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Home Rule, Home Run? Can Cities Counter the Arizona Abortion Ban?

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Caitlin Brydges.The Fall of Roe and State Authority over Abortion Law Prior to the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, upholding a constitutional right to abortion, Arizona law criminalized abortion unless it was necessary to save the mother’s life. The Roe decision declared this and similar state laws unconstitutional, and the law has been subject to an injunction preventing its enforcement ever since. However, this past June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Justice Alito, writing for the majority, held that there is no federally protected right to abortion, and accordingly, states have the authority to regulate reproductive healthcare.The fallout of Dobbs has left many healthcare providers to make difficult decisions about whether to provide abortions (and related healthcare services) and many Americans…
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The Battle Over Arizona Golf Courses’ Most Valuable Resource – Water

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By William Scoville.Golf has long been synonymous with the state of Arizona. While courses have populated the Valley of the Sun since the early 20th century, the game’s first big boom in popularity occurred following the end of World War Two with the development of Sky Harbor International Airport and President Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. For the first time, Phoenix was something more than just a stopping point for families and travelers heading out west to the sunny beaches of California. As the game has continued to grow, so too has a concerted group of lobbyists who have taken issue with one of the game’s practices. While some might think that this group stands opposed to one of the traditional barriers surrounding the game, whether it be the game’s aristocratic…
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Less Water for Arizona: State Reactions and Implications

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Ashley Hutton.The Bureau of Reclamation (“Reclamation”) released its highly anticipated report in June, which delivered devastating, but unsurprising, news: The southwest is running out of water. The report highlighted the trajectory of reservoir conditions of Lakes Mead and Powell, the two reservoirs connected to the greater Colorado River system, and the forecast is critical. It warned that if the rate of inflow remains the same through next year, the lakes will need an additional 2.5 million acre-feet to stay above 22% capacity. To put this into perspective, a single acre-foot of water is over 325,800 gallons, enough to supply two average households with water for one year.Water Levels at the LowestLake Mead is at its lowest since 1937, and Lake Powell fell below 1967 levels. Unfortunately for forty million…
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Jurisdictional Gymnastics: How the European Union Influences Arizona Business Practices

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Alexander Egber. At first blush, it might not be obvious why legislation coming out of the European Union is pertinent to Arizona residents. Europe is about 5,000 miles away, after all, and intuition suggests that a more appropriate focus would be on state and federal legislation. Nonetheless, a myopic focus at home might distract us from critically important developments taking place across the Atlantic. One such development is the rapid enactment and evolution of data privacy and internet usage laws that have an outsized impact on the rest of the globe. Although these legislative actions aren’t specifically directed towards American business, we must remember that our nation’s economic prosperity is inevitably intertwined with EU affairs. As described in this post, EU initiatives aimed at protecting its own citizens’ data…
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Phoenix Property and Business Owners have Sued the City over the Handling of the Homelessness Crisis

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Aubrey Davis. Debbie and Joe Faillace opened their sub shop over 35 years ago in downtown Phoenix, within walking distance from the Arizona State Capitol. They have enjoyed watching the Capitol community grow and flourish over the years. When the couple’s children were young, they even expanded the shop to make a nursery for their son so that he could stay with them during the day. However, the shop is located in an area of downtown Phoenix called “the Zone.” The Zone surrounds Phoenix’s Human Services Campus, which provides a variety of resources to people experiencing homelessness. There are over 1,000 homeless individuals in the encampment, and the resulting conditions are having a detrimental effect on the businesses and residents in the area. The Faillaces have had their shop’s…
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A Call for Accountability: U.S. Border Patrol Officers Confiscate and Discard Sikh Turbans

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By AnnaMarie Lively.Upon reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, a Sikh asylum-seeker who had left his country in pursuit of political asylum in America encountered Border Patrol agents who mandated that he surrender his belongings. Among these belongings were two valuable symbols of the Sikh faith. When he was ordered to remove his turban, the man pleaded with the officers and explained, “It’s my religion.” He was then forced to remove his turban and throw it into a trash pile. Thereafter, the man requested that he be allowed to keep the turban upon being released from custody. However, this request was also denied. In an interview discussing the experience, the man stated, “I felt so bad.”Reports of similarly abhorrent stories have been on the rise as Border Patrol agents in the Yuma…
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Fight for the Right to Film: ACLU Sues Arizona Over Law Restricting the Filming of Police

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Erin Jenkins.  In July 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ratified a law that makes it illegal for people to videotape within eight feet of law enforcement activity. Expected to go into effect in September 2022, critics argue the law limits transparency, decreases accountability, and restricts the public’s First Amendment right to free speech. News outlets and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Arizona challenging the constitutionality of the law.H.B. 2319: THE LETTER OF THE LAWThe Arizona bill, known as H.B. 2319, was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey in July of this year. The exact provisions of the law prohibit recording law enforcement activity from within eight feet of where the law enforcement activity is occurring. The restriction…
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The Case for Corporate Climate Ratings: Nudging Financial Markets

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 4 (Winter)
Felix Mormann & Milica Mormann  Capital markets are cast as both villain and hero in the climate playbill. The trillions of dollars required to combat climate change leave ample room for heroics from the financial sector. For the time being, however, capital continues to flow readily toward fossil fuels and other carbon-intensive industries. Drawing on the results of an empirical study, this Article posits that ratings of corporate climate risk and governance can help overcome pervasive information asymmetries and nudge investors toward more climate-conscious investment choices with welfare-enhancing effects.  Full Article.
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Fumble! Anti-Human Bias in the Wake of Socio-Technical System Failures

2021, Current Issue, Print, Volume 53 (2021) Issue 4 (Winter)
Joseph Avery  In 2018, an autonomous Uber vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian. Although  autonomous, the vehicle was not driverless: the onboard artificial intelligence (AI) had handed off control to a safety driver at the last second. “Handed off”—a just-launched National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into Tesla is focusing on this very issue. After all, like many socio-technical systems, semi- and fully autonomous vehicles are designed so that decision-making can be handed off from a machine to a human operator. This is worrisome because decades of human factors research have shown that people perform poorly under such conditions. When situated in the handoff recipient role, humans suffer from a combination of four linked issues: complacency, inattention, skill atrophy, and automation bias (i.e., over-trust in the machine).  Full Article.
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