PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a commonsense election integrity law that ensures accountability in Arizona’s voter initiative process. The lawsuit was dismissed by the plaintiffs after the Attorney General’s Office prevailed at the Ninth Circuit Court last Friday.
On Monday afternoon, plaintiffs (Jessica Miracle, a group of petition signers, circulators, sponsors, and initiative proponents) dropped their lawsuit against the State of Arizona.
“Once again, out-of-state special interest groups are trying to interfere with the integrity of Arizona elections,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Arizonans will not stand for it. As long as I’m Attorney General, our election laws will be vigorously defended.”
The lawsuit Miracle v Hobbs, challenged Arizona’s law that requires paid and out-of-state circulators to make court appearances when subpoenaed, if the signatures collected are challenged. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the plaintiffs’ request to suspend the law and kicked the case back down to U.S. Federal District Court. The plaintiffs saw the writing on the wall and withdrew their entire lawsuit Monday afternoon, which has the effect of granting complete victory to the State.
Attorney General Brnovich intervened on behalf of the State after the Secretary of State declined to defend the statute. This is one of four times so far in 2020 where the Secretary has declined to defend state election laws.
General Brnovich is dedicated to upholding the integrity of elections in Arizona. Last week, the AGO filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States to defend Arizona's restrictions on ballot harvesting. Currently, the AGO is defending a state law that restricts the use of the E-Qual online signature system in the initiative process. In March 2020, the AGO obtained a restraining order to stop Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes from illegally mailing ballots to ineligible voters for the Presidential Preference Election.
Deputy Solicitor General Drew C. Ensign, for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, argued the case before the Ninth Circuit on April 17.