Brnovich says mask mandate ban not court’s business

Arizona Supreme Court

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services  

Attorney General Mark Brnovich is making a last-ditch effort to tell Arizona courts they need to butt out of how the legislature conducts its business. 

In legal briefs filed with the state Supreme Court, Brnovich contends that the question of whether a ban on schools adopting mask mandates belongs in budget legislation is strictly a “political question” beyond the reach of judges. Ditto, he said, of other provisions put into budget bills, ranging from whether universities can require employees and students to be vaccinated to how subjects like race, ethnicity and gender can be taught in public schools. 

And if Brnovich can’t convince the justices, he has an alternate proposal: Let the controversial — and possibly illegal — provisions take effect this year, with a warning to lawmakers never to do that again. 

“And the legislature will adjust its practices accordingly,” he said. Brnovich said this would save not just all 58 provisions of the four challenged “budget reconciliation bills” adopted this session but ensure that similar measures from prior years that used the same procedure do not themselves face legal challenge. 


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October 2021