Friday, August 14, 2009

Arizona Supreme Court: Legislators are no longer mere "alleged" pendejos.

They're convicted pendejos--and you won't find that one in your law dictionary.

From the Arizona Republic:

...The Arizona Supreme Court ordered Thursday that the Legislature immediately relinquish to the governor all bills that have received final passage, but did not specify exactly how quickly the transmittal must occur.

The ruling would appear to bar future Legislatures from refusing to send the governor bills that have passed the House and Senate, as happened this year.

In an expanded, 22-page majority opinion written by Justice Scott Bales, the high court found that lawmakers violated the state Constitution during the last regular session when they approved a budget proposal for fiscal 2010 but declined to send it to Gov. Jan Brewer for nearly a month....

The ruling stems from a state spending plan that the House and Senate granted final approval on June 4.Weeks later and with the budget still not in Brewer's possession, she filed a special-action lawsuit against legislative leaders and asked the Supreme Court to force them to send her the budget.

The governor contended that legislators were attempting to press their political advantage by hanging onto the bills until the fiscal year concluded at the end of the month - forcing Brewer to sign a budget she didn't like or risk shutting down state government.

It was a claim that legislative attorneys didn't dispute. But they argued in a June court hearing that lawmakers have discretion in determining when to send passed bills to the governor, provided that the Legislature remains in session...

The lengths to which the Republicans in the Legislature have gone to discredit a Republican governor that they should be thankful to have--Napolitano's departure was a stroke of luck--are shameful. I'd recommend knocking some of these out in primary challenges, but they're more popular in the Republican Party than Brewer is, which may reflect just what is wrong with the Republican Party these days--it's turning into a group of chirping sectaries. And if they think that immigration hawks or strict social conservatives (think Len Munsil) will somehow win over independents from a strong Democratic challenger, they're even more disconnected from reality than I thought.

The full text of the ruling is now available on the Court's website. Even if you're not interested in the legal particulars, read the first few pages--especially if you're a Republican--then think again about who needs to be thrown out of office in 2010.

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