From left are Doug Ducey and Mark Brnovich
By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
The state’s top prosecutor says Gov. Doug Ducey is acting illegally in telling police to ignore restaurants violating certain state liquor laws.
In a new court filing, Attorney General Mark Brnovich said he disagrees with the bar owners suing the governor that the laws granting him emergency powers are an unconstitutional delegation of legislative powers.
“When the pandemic hit, the governor was well within his authority to declare an emergency and close down all non-essential businesses in an even-handed manner until health officials could better determine the nature of this novel virus,” he said.
But Brnovich said that’s not what happened here, with the governor deciding not only that restaurants can open but bars cannot — at least not the way they were designed — but directing state liquor agents and police to turn a blind eye to bars selling alcoholic beverages to go, something specifically prohibited by state law.