Katie Hobbs’ Executive Order 5: Investigating Arizona’s Death Penalty Protocols

Katie Hobbs’ Executive Order 5: Investigating Arizona’s Death Penalty Protocols

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Sophie Haase.  Governor Hobbs’ Recent Executive Order On January 20, 2023, Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order mandating the appointment of an Independent Review Commissioner to review and report on the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, & Reentry’s (ADCRR) death penalty protocols and procedures.  Under the order, the appointed Commissioner shall investigate, review, and provide transparency regarding: (1) Arizona’s procurement of lethal injection drugs, including the source of the drugs, the cost to the State for their procurement, and drug composition, (2) Arizona’s procurement of gas chamber chemicals (as Arizona is the only state to currently have a working gas chamber), (3) ADCRR procedures for conducting executions (i.e., setting lines for a lethal injection, transparency/media access regarding executions, inmate’s access to legal counsel, and contingency planning), and (4)…
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Is Cash Still King? Proposed AZ Bill to Mandate Businesses to Accept Cash Payments

Is Cash Still King? Proposed AZ Bill to Mandate Businesses to Accept Cash Payments

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Emma Marek.  Is cash still king? Or, has a new era of “cashless businesses” dethroned it? Square, a digital payment company, estimates that the number of cashless businesses has doubled in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic. Some businesses adopted cashless policies to minimize physical contact during purchases in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Regardless of the medical efficacy of these policies, many businesses have continued to embrace the cashless model for myriad other reasons. Some of the pros of the cashless model include faster transactions, reduced theft and robbery, reduced operational expenses, and improved accounting.  However, cashless models negatively affect consumers that may prefer or rely on cash payments. One of the strongest arguments against going cashless is financial exclusion. The FDIC reports…
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An Uphill Battle: The Mexican Government Seeks to Hold Arizona Gun Dealers Responsible

An Uphill Battle: The Mexican Government Seeks to Hold Arizona Gun Dealers Responsible

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Zabric Kline.  On October 10, 2022, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit against multiple Arizona gun retailers. This is one of many actions, both in and outside of the courtroom, that the Mexican government is undertaking in order to stop the flow of weapons into their country. The Mexican government claims that these gun retailers are systematically participating in the trafficking of guns and ammunition to Mexican cartels. The Mexican government predicates this claim on a pattern of weapons recovered at crime scenes to be traceable to the gun distributors being sued.  The Mexican Government Has Made Similar Claims in the Past This is not the first time that the Mexican government has brought claims against U.S. businesses involved in the firearm industry. On August 4, 2021, the Mexican…
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Supreme Court Set to Hear Navajo Nation’s Claim in Water Rights Case

Supreme Court Set to Hear Navajo Nation’s Claim in Water Rights Case

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Jack Cahill.  For decades, people have flocked to Arizona for our abundant sunshine, resorts, and desert amenities. However, as Arizona has grown substantially, it is clear that our water is not abundant. Water scarcity is not a recent problem in Arizona, in fact, questions over who controls our limited and most precious resource have raged since before statehood. These questions are of fundamental importance to the 22 federally recognized tribes within our borders; especially the Navajo Nation, the largest tribe by land and population. The Navajo water needs are serious in light of the persistent drought, and 30% of Navajo households still lack running water, as many residents travel vast distances to collect water from non-potable sources. Despite the nation’s serious water needs, no attempt has been made to…
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The Shift from Red to Blue—How a House Bill Could Lower the Required Age Limit for Running for an Elected Office

The Shift from Red to Blue—How a House Bill Could Lower the Required Age Limit for Running for an Elected Office

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Alyannah Buhman.  The first regular session of the 56th Arizona State Legislature opened on January 9th, and House Representative Matt Gress has already proposed a notably progressive bill. Nico Delgado was the bill’s inspiration, a 15-year-old member of the North Valley Republicans Club who actively engages in politics and has a strong sense of civic duty. The Arizona Civic Participation Act, lesser known as HCR 2004, proposes to lower the age requirement to run for an elected office from 25 to 18 years old. Although HCR 2004 is somewhat controversial, legislators from the left and the right at least agree on one thing: the current legislature is not reflective of the general voter population. Representative Gress illustrated this issue by quoting a 2020 study that found that the average…
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The Most Magical Place on Earth: Arizona’s Push to Become a Global Leader in Clinical Magic Mushroom Research

The Most Magical Place on Earth: Arizona’s Push to Become a Global Leader in Clinical Magic Mushroom Research

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Max Mashal.  H.B. 2486 and the Bipartisan Push for Magic Mushroom Legislation In January 2023, a bill that would allocate up to $30 million for clinical trials using whole psilocybin mushrooms (colloquially called “magic mushrooms”) was proposed in the Arizona legislature. The bill, known as H.B. 2486, was introduced by Republican Representative Kevin Payne and has bipartisan support, with notable backers including Republican Senator T.J. Shope and Democratic Representatives Jennifer Longdon and Stacey Travers. If passed, H.B. 2486 could pave the way for Arizona to become a world leader in groundbreaking psilocybin research. Psilocybin: The Most Pervasive Drug You’ve Never Heard Of Psilocybin is the ingredient that puts the “magic” in “magic mushrooms.” The naturally occurring psychedelic compound is found in over 200 species of mushrooms and has been…
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Rio Verde Scrambles to Keep Its Head Above Water Amidst Southwest Megadrought

Rio Verde Scrambles to Keep Its Head Above Water Amidst Southwest Megadrought

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Ian Balitis.  The Arizona Megadrought Ninety percent of the world’s population lives within six and a half miles of a surface freshwater body. This comes as no surprise considering the essential role water plays in human life. Access to drinking water is necessary for human survival. Approximately 98% of electricity production worldwide relies on water. The viability of agricultural food sources is dependent on water. Our reliance on water cannot be understated. Unfortunately, Arizona currently faces its worst drought in 1,200 years. To add insult to injury, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred unprecedented population growth across Maricopa County, exacerbating the harmful effects of the megadrought. Put simply, water is at a premium in Maricopa County and, predictably, conflict has followed. On January 1, 2023, the City of Scottsdale followed through…
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Arizona Now Has a Flat State Income Tax—Will It Serve Arizona Right?

Arizona Now Has a Flat State Income Tax—Will It Serve Arizona Right?

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Dallas Fox.  Arizona's Past and Current Income Tax System Long is the debate on whether state income tax should be split into different tax brackets, kept at a single flat rate, or eliminated entirely. Prior to former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signing Senate Bill 1828 into law on June 30, 2021, the Arizona state income tax consisted of four distinct tax brackets. The lowest bracket taxed individuals at 2.59% of income below $27,808 and hit a maximum tax of 4.5% on every dollar beyond $166,844. This progressive tax structure had the effect of taxing Arizonans at an increasingly punitive rate as they earned larger taxable incomes.  Immediately after SB 1828’s passage into law, Arizona’s income taxation shrunk to two brackets only, where all income up to $27,808 was taxed…
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Dragging Out the Inevitable: Arizona’s Proposed Drag Laws and their Constitutional Issues

Dragging Out the Inevitable: Arizona’s Proposed Drag Laws and their Constitutional Issues

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Evan Ridley.  Amidst a wave of anti-LGBTQ bills currently being brought around the nation, Arizona now has multiple bills in the State Senate proposing to restrict drag performances. Since January, State Senators have introduced four separate bills looking to criminalize drag and the showing of drag to minors, as well as restrict when and where drag shows may be performed. What is drag? It’s the act of dressing up as a different gender and exaggerating certain attributes or qualities for entertainment. While the term “drag” has been used for over 150 years, the act likely has its roots in theater. Some argue that the modern idea of drag arose from Shakespeare, where male actors had to play female roles. However, the act of men playing women in theatrical performances…
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Super Bowl LVII: Touchdown for Arizona Residents and the Freedom of Speech

Super Bowl LVII: Touchdown for Arizona Residents and the Freedom of Speech

Arizona State Law Journal Blog
By Tatum Weight. In a desolate land, thwarted by the scorching sun, spectators from surrounding nations convened by the masses. Some traveled by day and night, journeying thousands of miles to observe the annual phenomenon; others fixed their tents outside the arena, observing the contemporary ritual known as “tailgating.” As the deafening roars of the crowd inside grew, the whole world watched in great anticipation. In the United States, perhaps no sporting event is revered more than the Super Bowl, and this year’s game took place in Arizona. While hosting America’s beloved event is a great honor, it came at a certain price, threatening the constitutional rights of Arizona’s residents.Leading Up to the Big GameOn October 12, 2022, the City of Phoenix adopted Resolution 22073 (“Resolution”), restricting temporary signage within the City’s…
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