Joshua Stanwitz, an individual; Andrew Clark, an individual; Scot Mussi, an individual; and Roy Miller, an individual, Petitioners/Appellees/Cross-Appellants,
Michele Reagan, in her capacity as the Secretary of State, Respondent/Appellee, and Outlaw Dirty Money, a political committee, Real Party in Interest/Appellant/Cross-Appellee. Terry Goddard, a citizen and qualified elector of the State of Arizona; Paul Johnson, a citizen and qualified elector of the State of Arizona; and Grant Woods, a citizen and qualified elector of the State of Arizona; and Outlaw Dirty Money, a political committee, Petitioners/Appellants,
Michele Reagan, in her official capacity as the Secretary of State, Respondent/Appellee, and J.D. Mesnard, in his official capacity As Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives; and Steve Yarbrough, in his official capacity as President of the Arizona Senate, Intervenors/Appellees.
from the Superior Court in Maricopa County The Honorable
Teresa A. Sanders, Judge Nos. CV2018-009789, CV2018-010420
Langhofer, Thomas Basile, Stewart Salwin, Statecraft PLLC,
Phoenix, Attorneys for Joshua Stanwitz, Andrew Clark, Scot
Mussi, Roy Miller, J. D. Mesnard, and Steve Yarbrough
Kimberly A. Demarchi, Joshua D. Bendor, Emma Cone-Roddy,
Osborn Maledon, P. A., Phoenix, Attorneys for Terry Goddard,
Paul Johnson, Grant Woods, and Outlaw Dirty Money
Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, Kara M. Karlson, Joseph
E. La Rue, Assistant Attorneys General, Phoenix, Attorneys
for Michele Reagan
Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, Dominic E. Draye,
Solicitor General, Phoenix, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae State
G. Torres, James E. Barton, II, Saman J. Golestan, Torres Law
Group, PLLC, Tempe, Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Clean Energy
for a Healthy Arizona
JUSTICE LOPEZ authored the opinion of the Court, in which
CHIEF JUSTICE BALES, VICE CHIEF JUSTICE BRUTINEL, and
JUSTICES PELANDER, TIMMER, BOLICK, and GOULD joined.
We explain today the reasons for our prior decision order
disqualifying the "Stop Political Dirty Money
Amendment" from the November 2018 general election
ballot. We honor the constitutional origins of our
citizens' right to amend the Arizona Constitution and to
enact legislation through the initiative process, and we are
reluctant to impede such civic efforts. However, we must also
enforce valid statutory requirements that permissibly
regulate the initiative process. We hold that A.R.S. §
19-118(C) is constitutional both facially and as applied
here, because its requirement that registered petition
circulators subpoenaed in an election challenge appear for
trial "does not unreasonably hinder or restrict"
the initiative process and it "reasonably supplements
the constitutional purpose" by fostering the integrity
of the process. Direct Sellers Ass'n v.
McBrayer, 109 Ariz. 3, 5 (1972).
The right to initiate constitutional amendments and propose
statutes was retained by the people when delegating
legislative authority to the Arizona legislature. Ariz.
Const. art. 4, pt. 1, § 1(1)-(2). To exercise this
right, a sufficient number of qualified electors must sign
verified petitions in support of the proposed measure and
submit them as prescribed by law. See A.R.S. tit. 19
ch. 1 (setting forth the specific process by which such
petitions are to be submitted and processed). Constitutional
initiatives require signatures from 15% of all qualified
electors. Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 1, § 1(2). For a
statewide initiative, the Arizona Secretary of State (the
"Secretary") is required to review the submitted
petitions, remove petition sheets and individual signatures
on petition sheets that fail to comply with statutory
requirements, and count the remaining signatures on the
petition sheets. A.R.S. § 19-121.01(A). If, after
satisfying other Title 19 requirements not contested here,
the Secretary determines that the initiative is supported by
the requisite number of valid signatures, the measure is
placed on the ballot. A.R.S. §§ 19-121.04(B), -125.
On July 5, 2018, the Outlaw Dirty Money political committee
(the "Committee") filed signature petitions with
the Secretary to qualify initiative C-03-2018, otherwise
known as the "Stop Political Dirty Money Amendment"
(the "Initiative"), for the November 2018 ballot.
The Initiative's purpose is to amend the Arizona
Constitution to ensure public knowledge of the original
source of campaign contributions. The Committee was required
to gather 225, 963 valid signatures to qualify the Initiative
for the ballot. The Committee's signature count exceeded
the minimum required.
On July 19, the tenth business day after the Committee filed
its petitions, the Stanwitz Petitioners
("Petitioners") filed a complaint pursuant to
§ 19-118(D) challenging the validity of certain
petitions based on various objections to petition
circulators, including that their registrations were
defective, they were ineligible to circulate petitions, and
they were improperly paid based upon the number of signatures
On August 2, the Secretary completed her preliminary review
of the petitions pursuant to § 19-121.01, and determined
that 263, 000 signatures remained to be verified pursuant to
additional statutory procedures. On August 7, the Committee
filed a complaint pursuant to A.R.S. § 19-122(A)
claiming the Secretary erroneously removed certain petition
sheets and signatures during her review. The trial court
consolidated the actions.
On August 9, prior to trial, Petitioners notified the
Committee's counsel and the trial court that they
intended to subpoena approximately twenty of the
Committee's petition circulators to testify concerning
their statutory qualifications to gather signatures. Counsel
for the Committee requested additional time to prepare for
the evidentiary hearing in light of the subpoenaed witnesses,
which the court granted. The next day, Petitioners issued
subpoenas to fifteen ...