AZ Supreme Ct. contortionists overturn lower court on “top 2”

Election farce gets nod of approval

In a display of agility that would be the envy of big-top circus performers, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday that a proposed initiative to create a “top-two” primary election system can be placed on the November ballot. The action overturned a Superior Court ruling that the initiative violated the single subject mandate in the state Constitution. (Separate Amendment Rule Article 21).

Read the Supreme Court’s order here. The court notes that a full opinion has not yet been issued. It will be interesting to see the cart-wheel jumping that will take place to justify this order.

On August 6, Superior Court Judge Mark Brain issued an injunction against the cunningly titled Open Elections/Open Government Act.

The initiative would permit voters to vote for any primary election candidate allowing top two finishers to advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation — virtually gutting political parties. The Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee issued a this Resolution against the Open Elections Initiative in July.

Currently County Elections Departments across the state are in the process of verifying petition signatures collected by paid circulars. The random sample failure rate in Maricopa County is at 33 percent, with Pima County showing 23 percent.  Many of the “fails” are not registered voters.

Seeing Red AZ has covered this topic herehere, here, here and here, calling the scheme an anti-conservative ruse devised to gut the influence of conservative Republicans in Arizona politics.

Although the state’s left-wing newspaper has been relentless in pushing this ruthless charade, which uber-liberal Linda Valdez terms “a better idea,” columnist Robert Robb has been the lone standout exposing the farce. We recommend his illuminating column linked in this post. This provides a sample of his approach to the measure:

A little honesty and sobriety is in order about the top-two primary system initiative that apparently will be on the November ballot. The purpose of the initiative should be stated plainly and bluntly: It is to reduce the influence of conservative Republicans in Arizona. The rhetoric used to sell it will be more lofty. There will be a pretense of deploring extremism on both sides of the political divide. But what’s driving the initiative isn’t a concern that the Democrats who get elected in Arizona are too liberal. It’s a call-to-arms reaction to a bone-deep belief that the Republicans who run Arizona are too conservative.”

Interestingly, the East Valley Tribune noted that two Hispanic Democrats also joined in the legal challenge opposing the initiative. Rep. Steve Gallardo of Phoenix and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said they are concerned the change being proposed would allow Anglo candidates to “game” the system, making it harder to elect minority candidates, even in districts where they are a plurality or majority.


12 Responses to AZ Supreme Ct. contortionists overturn lower court on “top 2”

  1. Stanford says:

    What a disappointment! The fact that the SC says it will issue a full opinion later makes me think they have to work damn hard to rationalize this. I wonder how many conferences it will take for them to come up with a justification for gutting our elections?

  2. Frankly Speaking says:

    What an affront to the voters of the state! These elites obviously don’t care about the system that has served us well since statehood. I hope the petition signatures continue to fail at high rates, keeping this scheme from undermining Arizona’s voting process.

  3. Observer says:

    The best news is that the libs pushing this monstrosity used paid circulators to get it on the ballot. Paid circulators don’t care who they get as signers. They get their money per signer, often $3 to $5 per name. They have no incentive to care about verifying ANYTHING.

  4. Richfield the Plumber says:

    The attitude of the court is the same as the attitude of Big Brother that assumes anything and everything is under its rule. For instance, a private business, run by private individuals, employing workers, providing a service to the community, paying taxes, is told what to produce, how much it can charge, who it may hire and when it can operate.
    Don’t look now, but political parties are under the same gun. They are being told who can trespass on their services, regardless of the intent of the parties! This is more like what Mussolini proposed with his Fascist state.

  5. Kent says:

    The Soopremes seem to have their boots on our necks like militarized thugs. Why is the rest of their opinion delayed?

  6. chick20112011 says:

    Mary Rose talking about ‘gaming the system’. PRICELESS she should know about that.

    Second, Hispanic ethnicity and surname apparently in their eyes, trumps US and Arizona Law and sovereignty.

    So Mary Rose and Gallardo are racists? They only see color of skin, ethnicity and only represent those who look like them? If you have lighter skin in their district they don’t care about you.

  7. LEO IN TSN says:

    C’mon, this is no surprise—this is the AZ Supremes, writing their own musical numbers with no regard to “Law.” They just make it up as they go, tripping through the tulips of their own little fantasyland.

    This is the same group of illegals who circled around our recent “Independent Resdistricting Committee” to protect their illegal members & activities.

    This is the same group of illegals who regularly overturn AZ court ruling on their own particular whims, while ignoring law and facts.

    Please remember, and remind all of your friends, that these illegals will have to face the voters. Hark back to 2010 when the voters of Iowa booted out THREE of their Supreme Court “justices” for continuously raping the will of the people of Iowa. I think that’s a great example to follow. It’s time to take back our state, SRA people, so let’s get ‘er done. Don’t let this just fade away.

    God bless America.

  8. A. Tripp says:

    Recall the Judges!!!!

  9. Hunter says:

    If the Republicans in the legislature had the backbone to impeach and remove those judges when they took the case regarding the removal of the IRC chair and overturned the governor and Senate, then we wouldn’t have this problem today. When the legislature lets the Supreme Court run roughshod over the constitution without any consequences, you can only expect them to keep doing it.

    With a majority in the House and 2/3 of the Senate, the Republican legislators could have reined in these out of control judges if they had the moral fortitude to do so. We probably won’t have 2/3 of the Senate in Republican hands after this election, so it is a lost opportunity to bring the judiciary under some control.

  10. Verify the Vote has some interesting analysis of the Petitions so far.
    Posted on August 21, 2012 by PRESS RELEASE

    Thousands Of Signatures Gathered Illegally

    AUGUST 21, 2012 (Phoenix, AZ) – “Verify the Vote, Arizona, has identified nearly 600 petitions circulated illegally by convicted felons in support of the “Open Government/Open Elections Act” and over 7,000 petitions circulated by individuals whose identities, as submitted on the circulated petitions, could not be confirmed. The felons have gathered a portion of the 9,053 petitions having some sort of irregularity circulated in support of the Act. This initiative is designed to change how primary elections are conducted as set forth by the Arizona State Constitution…..”


  11. Laurie Roberts sister is once again up for a vacancy on the Court. If the Judge is anything like her sister, she should be passed over.