Ethics committee won’t hear complaint over removal of migrant-rights advocates from Arizona Capitol hearing

Sen. Sine Kerr

By Maria Polletta | The Republic 

The Senate Judiciary Committee was considering Concurrent Resolution 1007, which would enshrine Arizona’s ban on “sanctuary cities” — those with policies limiting how local law enforcement can help federal immigration authorities. Arizona Republic

The head of the Senate Ethics Committee has dismissed a complaint against Eddie Farnsworth, the Republican senator who had migrant-rights advocates expelled from a public hearing after they called an immigration measure racist.

Committee Chairwoman Sen. Sine Kerr, R-Buckeye, said she would not give the complaint a hearing because Farnsworth was within his rights to “remove members of the public from a committee meeting for failing to adhere to proper decorum.”

“Arizona’s Open Meetings Law provides the public with a right to ‘attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings’ but does not give the public a right to speak,” Kerr wrote in a letter to other Ethics Committee members.

She also said that “a committee chair’s decision to limit or prevent testimony on a bill is not a violation of rights.”

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