Supreme Court Denies Arizona Legislators’ Attempt To Avoid Depositions in Lawsuit Challenging State’s Voting Laws - Conservative Nation
Connect with us

Latest News

Supreme Court Denies Arizona Legislators’ Attempt To Avoid Depositions in Lawsuit Challenging State’s Voting Laws



On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected an effort by Arizona’s top two state legislators to avoid sitting for depositions in an ongoing lawsuit challenging two state voting laws as racially discriminatory. 

Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma (R) and Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R) filed an emergency request urging the justices to pause a lower ruling, mandating that they hand over documents and be deposed in the case. The two lawmakers argued that the mandate would violate legislative privilege.

The justices rejected the request in a brief order on Monday, without any noted dissent. 

The lawsuit centers around several voting bills that were passed by Arizona’s Republican-led legislature that would require individuals submit documentary proof of citizenship in order to vote as well as change rules that dictate when individuals are dropped from voter rolls. 

However, the Justice Department, Democratic National Committee and others filed legal challenges to the bills, condemning them, in some cases, as “voter suppression” bills. 

Toma and Petersen both voted for the bills, but neither were in their current leadership positions at the time. They intervened in the consolidated lawsuit to defend the laws earlier this year. 

The plaintiffs then sought to depose the duo about the legislature’s intent in enacting the laws, requiring them to produce related documents. Toma and Petersen attempted to block it in lower courts, citing legislative privilege. 

“Allowing discovery of these irrelevant topics implicates the separation of powers at the highest level of government, embodying a federal court’s significant intrusion into legislative affairs without legal justification,” the lawmakers’ attorney, Kevin O’Malley, wrote to the justices.

“The district court’s unprecedented ruling will chill both the atmosphere for all legislators to freely express their views during the legislative process and the ability and willingness of present and future legislative leaders to participate in litigation to defend the constitutionality of state laws,” O’Malley continued.

“Until the legislators intervened, no party sought discovery from either of them,” wrote Seth Waxman, a former U.S. solicitor general in the Clinton administration, representing some of the plaintiffs in the case, in their response to the emergency request. “But once they voluntarily joined the litigation, and then made assertions about a key disputed question of fact — whether the Arizona legislature passed the challenged laws with discriminatory intent — plaintiffs sought to test the legislators’ position in discovery, as plaintiffs had done with other defendants.”

Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Continue Reading