Dissenting justices explain their decisions in ballot case for education tax

They said the voters should have gotten the last word instead of taking measure off the ballot

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Ahwatukee Foothills News

Two justices of the Arizona Supreme Court are criticizing their colleagues for their decision blocking voters from deciding whether to increase income taxes on the wealthiest to fund education.

In a ruling released Friday, the five-member majority explained why they ruled on Aug. 29 that the Invest in Ed measure could not be on the ballot. They said the 100-word description of the initiative was so flawed that it likely confused those who signed the petitions.

But Chief Justice Scott Bales and Justice Ann Scott Timmer, in newly released dissents, said the other five justices ignored Arizona law and court precedent. And they said the voters should have gotten the last word.

Both acknowledged that the legally required description did not mention that it is possible that the measure, if approved, could have done more than hike taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year.


State Supreme Court Justices Clint Bolick, left, and John Pelander are seeking full terms in an election where teachers are furious over their ruling that took the Invest for Ed prop off the ballot./Special to AFN
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November 2018