Some Arizona Lawmakers Want To Preserve Legislative Immunity

By Kathy Ritchie
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 9:16am
Updated: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 9:20am

In his State of the State address on Monday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he wants to get rid of legislative immunity, a measure that protects lawmakers from arrest in certain circumstances.

he called on lawmakers to give voters a chance to repeal legislative immunity, which shields lawmakers from prosecution in some circumstances, following recent incidents of lawmakers invoking immunity during traffic stops.

"We are a nation of laws, not men," Ducey said. "No one — not me, nor you — is above the law."

But Republican Rep. Vince Leach think it should stay in place.

"If you look at the people that have asked for immunity, I think they've suffered more. One member didn't return. I'm not saying that's directly involved with the immunity situation. All I know is that member is not back here," said Leach.

Leach was talking about Republican Rep. Paul Mosley. Mosley claimed legislative immunity when he was pulled over for speeding last year. He lost his re-election bid.

Other some lawmakers including Democratic Sen. Lela Alston say it still has value. Lawmakers began their 2019 session this week.

Associated Press contributed to this report.