By Ben Giles| | Arizona Capitol Times
Mark Brnovich wants the Arizona Supreme Court to let him be the kind of attorney general he wants to be.
A 59-year-old court ruling has stymied Brnovich’s efforts to – as he puts it – hold the Arizona Board of Regents accountable for their actions, namely the steep increases in tuition rates for students at the state’s three public universities.
But that case, in which Brnovich argues the regents have violated a constitutional provision that tuition must be kept nearly as free as possible, has diverted into a broader discussion of the powers and duties of the elected attorney general.
As Brnovich sees it, he’s an attorney by the people and for the people. Brnovich spokesman Ryan Anderson said it doesn’t matter your political stripes – be you Republican, Democrat, independent or whatever. “If you feel that the attorney general should be an independent umpire, a defender of taxpayers and enforcer of the Constitution and the law,” Anderson said, you should support the Supreme Court overturning their ruling in the case of the Arizona State Land Department v. McFate.
That ruling, made in 1960, affirmed boundaries in state law for what an attorney general can and cannot do.