Arizona Attorney Gearing Up To Defend State In Suit Over Mask Mandate Ban

By Rocio Hernandez
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, September 3, 2021 - 3:55pm
Updated: Monday, September 6, 2021 - 1:25pm
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The lawyer defending the state of Arizona in a lawsuit over a ban on mask mandates and other provisions says a judge has no place in the bill-drafting process. 

Attorney Patrick Irvine says questions on how the Legislature crafts bills and decides what to include in them should be beyond Judge Katherine Cooper’s legal reach. 

"There are strong prudential reasons why the judicial power does not extend to determining whether budgetary measure are sufficiently related or tied to budgeting, thereby rendering it an unreviewable political question,'' he wrote.

Later this month, Cooper will hear arguments on the lawsuit that is also challenging an anti-critical race theory provision and others that were packed into budget bills. Plaintiffs say that practice could violate the state’s single-subject rule for legislation. 

Irvine says those provisions are lawmakers’ way of deciding how public money can be spent. But if Cooper agrees with the plaintiffs, Irvine wants the challenged provisions to be allowed. 

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