Arizona Prop. 211 Passes, Requiring Political Committees Taking Out Ads to Disclose Their Donors in Certain Circumstances

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Chris Shanley.Arizona residents voted overwhelmingly to approve Proposition 211 at the ballot box on November 8, 2022. The passing of Proposition 211 now requires that independent expenditure committees spending $50,000 or more on a statewide campaign or $25,000 or more on a local campaign must disclose the names of the money’s original sources that have contributed $5,000 or more. This Proposition only applies to advertisement expenses.How did Arizona Proposition 211 Come to Be?The Voters Right to Know and Stop Dark Money organizations originally filed the petition to get Proposition 211 on the November ballot in March 2022. Almost 400,000 signatures were gathered before the July deadline, of which 285,000 were found to be valid under Arizona’s signature rules. The 285,000 signatures were enough to get Proposition 211 on the…
Read More

An Early Affirmative End to Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Anthony Gonnella.On Halloween morning, October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court heard two cases challenging affirmative action policies in college admissions: Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. Petitioners are asking the Court to reconsider the notion that universities may consider race in determining admissions.Legal History of Race-Conscious College Admission PoliciesGrowing out of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, universities began implementing affirmative action policies into their admissions procedures. These policies aim to increase the representation of marginalized minority individuals, such as people of color and women, in higher education. Although there was pushback from white students who claimed “reverse racism” and sought a prohibition on racial considerations, the Supreme Court did not bar the practice. Since then, the Court has…
Read More

The CRIT Water Resiliency Act: Water Can Flow or It Can Crash

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Clayton Kinsey.Water, water, water! If you follow the news, presumably you’ve run into a piece about the Colorado River and/or Arizona’s dire water situation. If not, many of my colleagues have highlighted important issues such as the consequences of Lake Mead’s Level 2a shortage, Arizona golf courses’ water usage, a “sweetheart” deal for Arizona groundwater to cultivate alfalfa, and stakeholder negotiations (or lack thereof) regarding Colorado River water. In addition to their fantastic analysis, it is essential to highlight Tribal water rights when discussing Arizona water policy.Colorado River Indian Tribes & S.B. 3308/H.R. 5118The Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) is one of the 22 federally recognized Tribes within Arizona’s border. Uniquely, CRIT’s reservation straddles the Colorado River, with land in both Arizona and California. The Tribe states that “the…
Read More

Arizona’s New Voucher System

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Aidan Wright.Arizona has long suffered from poor educational performance compared to other states. As a result, reformers over the years have suggested various solutions to the problem. One such innovation is the school “voucher.” Since 2011, Arizona has offered vouchers to qualified students through the Arizona Department of Education’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (“ESAs”). These vouchers originally applied only to students with demonstrated special needs (called IEPs or 504 plans), allowing them to sign ESA contracts to receive an allotted cash amount to be used to attend any private school of their choice. During the past decade, however, lawmakers expanded the ESAs to include students in public schools with “D-” or “F” ratings, students on Native American reservations, and foster care children, among others. On July 7th, 2022, Governor Doug…
Read More

Censoring Porn or Silencing Culture? The Implications of Arizona’s Unsexy New Education Law

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Esther Gold.Beloved, timeless works of literature are now in jeopardy of banishment from the gates of public school curricula and libraries in Arizona. On September 24, 2022, House Bill 2495 (codified as A.R.S. §15-120.02) went into effect banning the use of or reference to sexually explicit materials in Arizona public schools. Exemptions arise only upon written parental consent and if the exempted material “possesses serious educational value for minors or possesses serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” If schools do not secure parental consent, they must provide an alternative assignment that does not contain sexually explicit material. The bill was passed along partisan lines, garnering support among all Republicans in the House and Senate and facing opposition from Democrats.The statute’s broad language may hurt children more than it…
Read More

Arizona Death Row Appeal Being Considered by the Supreme Court will have Important Implications for Precedent, Procedure, and Prisoners

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Ashley Lin.The Supreme Court of the United States is hearing an Arizona death row prisoner’s appeal based on an Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure. But the effects of the Justices’ decisions regarding this procedural rule could be unexpectedly profound and far-reaching.  John Montenegro Cruz was sentenced to death after being convicted of first-degree murder in 2005. However, during his sentencing, he was denied a due process right which the Supreme Court of the United States held in 2016 to be binding on Arizona. As a result, Cruz filed this petition for post-conviction relief, and the Supreme Court agreed this past March to hear his petition. Oral arguments were heard by the Court on November 1st, 2022.  Background In 2005, a jury in Pima County convicted Cruz of first-degree murder for shooting Patrick…
Read More

Arizona Just Strengthened Protections for Homebuyers, But At What Cost?

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jackson Pittman.A Housing Market on FireRecent years have been chaotic for the housing market. All-time low mortgage interest rates and a relative shortage of homes resulted in widespread success for home sellers—and overwhelming frustration for buyers. Arizona has been a hotspot for the housing market and new residents. Despite relatively low population growth across the country, Phoenix and its surrounding localities have been some of the fastest growing areas in the US. To meet these demands, new residential building projects are going up everywhere across the state. Single-family home construction has jumped over 40% in both Phoenix and Tucson. Residential building permits hit a 16-year high in March of this year. If you want confirmation, just take a walk outside—within minutes you’ll likely run into the lifeless labyrinth of…
Read More

Arizonans’ Reproductive Rights Remain in Flux, Four Months After Dobbs

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
While the most recent court order in Arizona’s post-Roe abortion saga brings momentary clarity, the reproductive rights of Arizonans remains in flux. In 1864, prior to Arizona becoming a state, the Arizona territorial legislature codified a law banning almost all abortions with no exceptions for victims of incest or rape. This law was passed by a legislature made up entirely of men, at a time when women were not legally allowed to vote. Now, a century and a half later, this law might once again take effect. From 1864 to Now The pre-statehood abortion ban remained in effect in Arizona from 1864 until 1973, when the United States Supreme Court published their landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Shortly thereafter, an injunction was put in place that barred enforcement of the…
Read More
Arizona’s Water Supply is Being Depleted by a Foreign Company Despite Constitutional Safeguards

Arizona’s Water Supply is Being Depleted by a Foreign Company Despite Constitutional Safeguards

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jack Prew-Estes.Arizona is in the midst of a water crisis. Drought and overuse have parched the Colorado River and its attached reservoirs. As a result, Arizona must endure new water cuts this upcoming year. And while state legislators contemplate expensive solutions like desalination technology, the State Land Department has allowed a private company to use up precious groundwater in Butler Valley. Not only is the company using massive amounts of water, which is bad enough, they are paying the State a fraction of the water’s value in what has been called a “Sweetheart” deal. The company, based in Saudi Arabia, goes by the name Fondomonte. Their business in Arizona—cultivate the water-intensive crop alfalfa. The alfalfa is then shipped back to the Middle East and used to feed livestock. Meanwhile,…
Read More

Recipe For a Public School System Disaster

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Kaleigh Cober. Directions: Pour a Cup of Empty Hope onto an Already Simmering Pan of Inadequate Education In what seems like a losing battle towards Arizona improving its education, could the solution be to lower the standard for teachers and not require a bachelor’s degree? Through a series of attempts to bolster an influx of teachers in Arizona, including the 20x2020 plan and SB 1042, Governor Doug Ducey has been acknowledging the deeply-rooted education issues plaguing Arizona. In July, Governor Ducey passed SB 1159 as another attempt to fix Arizona’s debilitating teacher shortage that the state has been experiencing. Although many states are experiencing teacher shortages, SB 1159’s approach is a seemingly unorthodox one, in that it allows college students to take teaching jobs. SB 1159, which went into…
Read More