Arizona GOP Lawmakers Strip Powers from Controversial Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

The Republican-controlled state Legislature in Arizona voted June 29 to revoke the Democratic secretary of state’s legal authority in election-related lawsuits, handing that power instead to Republican attorney general Mark Brnovich until Jan. 2, 2023.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) 300x180 Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (at left) has denounced the independent 2020 election audit in Arizona,  spearheaded by the state’s Republican senate, which is questioning voter fraud and irregularities surrounding Maricopa County’s ballot tally. The audit applied to 2.1 million ballots in the county’s jurisdiction, where Joe Biden allegedly defeated former President Trump by around 10,000 votes, and contracted the services of the small cybersecurity company and first-time election auditor Cyber Ninjas to conduct it.

The measure, sent to Gov. Doug Ducey, was part of a series of proposals inserted into major budget legislation, including several actions that address election integrity. Included is an appropriation of $500,000 for a study of whether social media sites interfered in state elections by promoting Democrats while suppressing Republicans.

Katie Hobbs has since set her sights on grander things, and on June 2 declared her candidacy for governor.

Posted June 30, 2021

Az. Gov. Ducey Declares Gun Shops ‘Essential,’ Protecting Them from Frivolous Lawsuits

Gov. Ducey signs law declaring gun shops essential, protecting them from lawsuits

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on May 8 signs law declaring gun shops ‘essential,’ protecting them against frivolous lawsuits

Az. Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation May 8 to protect the Second Amendment rights of Arizonans by safeguarding against frivolous lawsuits that have no connection to unlawful use of firearms. The new state law mirrors federal law that was passed on a bipartisan basis.

Ducey, in his 2020 declaration of the pandemic emergency, had already specifically declared that places where guns and ammo are sold are essential and exempt from any closure requirements due to COVID-19.

“With efforts currently underway in Washington to erode Second Amendment rights, Arizona is taking action to protect those rights,” Gov. Ducey said. “In Arizona, we’re safeguarding manufacturers, sellers and trade associations. Bad actors need to be held accountable, and we will work to make sure they are. But we’re not going to allow lawsuit after lawsuit to slowly tear down the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in our state.

“Senate Bill 1382 achieves this goal, and I’m grateful to Rep. Quang Nguyen and Sen. Wendy Rogers for leading on this important legislation.”

Senate Bill 1382 prohibits the state and all entities of the state from suing a member of the firearms industry for lawful design, marketing, distribution, and sale of firearms and ammunition to the public. The legislation also prohibits a civil action from being brought against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition or related trade association for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, with exceptions.

Additionally, it protects manufacturers or sellers of firearms and ammunition from civil action for damages resulting from the criminal misuse of the firearm or ammunition, except in specified circumstances.

“Arizona is—and will remain—a strong Second Amendment state,” Judi White of Tucson, a champion of gun rights who has long been active in the NRA, told Prescottenews. “We can’t let flippant lawsuits hinder operations of firearm or ammunition manufacturers, sellers and trade associations that are following the law. Senate Bill 1382 makes sure of that. Thank you, Governor Ducey, for signing legislation that protects citizens’ Constitutional rights.”

In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which provides federal protection for law-abiding firearms and ammunition industry members against frivolous lawsuits. PLCAA has been challenged in recent years, including in April 2021 when President Joe Biden stated removing PLCAA as a top priority of his administration. Senate Bill 1382 codifies the federal provisions under state law.

Additional Information at BearingArms.com

Posted May 10, 2021

Arizona Gov. Ducey Won’t Accept Election Results Until All Lawsuits Are Settled

PHOENIX, AZ. – Gov. Doug Ducey announced the state’s election isn’t over until all court cases have been settled, as the Trump campaign and state GOP filed lawsuits in Maricopa County in a bid to block officials from certifying the election results due to alleged voter irregularities and improprieties.

“There are legal claims that are being challenged in court and everybody on the ballot has certain access rights and remedies and if they want to push that they are able. Once those are adjudicated and the process plays out, I will accept the results of the election,” the Republican governor said in a news conference on Wednesday. It was the first time he held one since the Nov. 3 election.

Gov. Doug Ducey, R-AZ

Ducey has not called Democratic challenger Joe Biden the winner of the election. The governor noted that he heard about voting issues in the state but hasn’t personally seen any evidence.

Arizona state law gives all Arizona counties until Nov. 23 to certify the results of the election. Then, the counties are to send in their results to the Secretary of State’s office, which then has another 10 days to certify the statewide results. The Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, has called Trump’s “base” of supporters “neo-Nazis.”

Biden and Trump

While several news outlets have described Biden as the president-elect and declared him the winner, outlets such as The Epoch Times has not, pending the outcome of lawsuits and other processes needed to complete the election and finally declare a winner.

The Electoral College votes next month, and Congress will hold its Joint Session to formally count electoral votes and declare official election results in early January. According to the unofficial vote count, as of Nov. 18, Biden is ahead of Trump by about 11,000 votes in Arizona. Earlier this week, the Arizona GOP moved to halt county officials in the state to delay certifying their results.

“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, reported The Associated Press.

The party also filed a lawsuit to request a hand-count in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, of a sampling of ballots. They also are seeking a court order prohibiting the county from certifying results until that case is decided.

“This case is about delay—not the adjudication of good faith claims,” lawyers for Secretary of State Hobbs said in response, AP reported. Hobbs, a Democrat, also claimed Nov. 18 she is receiving threats of violence following the election, alleging that Trump and other GOP members are spreading misinformation. Hobbs did not provide any evidence for her claims of violence.

-Updated Nov. 19, 2020