Arizona Rejection of Unconstitutional Federal Actions Amendment, Proposition 122 (2014)

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Proposition 122
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Arizona Constitution
Referred by:Arizona State Legislature
Topic:Federal constitutional issues
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 measures
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November 4
Proposition 122Approveda
Proposition 303 Approveda
Proposition 304 Defeatedd
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Local measures
The Arizona Rejection of Unconstitutional Federal Actions Amendment, Proposition 122 was on the November 4, 2014 general election ballot in Arizona as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

The measure was designed to allow the state to opt out of federal laws deemed unconstitutional by the voters or the state legislature. Under the provisions laid out in Proposition 122, if this occurs, the state is prohibited from devoting any resources toward enforcing the law, and the federal government is responsible for its enforcement.[1][2]

The measure was primarily sponsored in the Arizona State Legislature by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-6) and Sen. Judy Burges (R-22), where it was known as Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016. It was designed to amend Article 2, Section 3 of the Arizona Constitution.[3][2][4]

Election results


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This ballot measure article has preliminary election results. Certified election results will be added as soon as they are made available by the state or county election office. The following totals are as of 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Arizona Proposition 122
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 563,053 51.40%
No532,43848.60%

Election results via: Arizona Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The short title for Proposition 122 read as follows:[5]

Rejection Of Unconstitutional Federal Actions

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF ARIZONA; AMENDING ARTICLE II, SECTION 3, CONSTITUTION OF ARIZONA; RELATING TO THE REJECTION OF UNCONSTITUTIONAL FEDERAL ACTIONS.[6]

Ballot summary

The full ballot summary read as follows:[7]

PERMITS THE STATE TO EXERCISE ITS SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY BY RESTRICTING STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO PURPOSES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of allowing the state to restrict the state and all local governments from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a federal action or program that is not consistent with the Constitution of the United States. The state's authority is exercised if the state passes an initiative, referendum, bill, or pursues any other available legal remedy.

A "no" vote shall have the effect of retaining the current law relating to state and local governments and the Constitution of the United States. [6]

Constitutional changes

Proposition 122 amended Article 2, Section 3 of the Arizona Constitution to read as follows, with the CAPITALIZED and underlined text being added:[3]

3. Supreme law of the land; authority to exercise sovereign authority against federal action; use of government personnel and financial resources.


Section 3. A. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land TO WHICH ALL GOVERNMENT, STATE AND FEDERAL, IS SUBJECT.
B. TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE'S FREEDOM AND TO PRESERVE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, THIS STATE MAY EXERCISE ITS SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT THE ACTIONS OF ITS PERSONNEL AND THE USE OF ITS FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO PURPOSES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION BY DOING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

1. PASSING AN INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM PURSUANT TO ARTICLE IV, PART 1, SECTION 1.
2. PASSING A BILL PURSUANT TO ARTICLE IV, PART 2 AND ARTICLE V, SECTION 7.
3. PURSUING ANY OTHER AVAILABLE LEGAL REMEDY.


C. IF THE PEOPLE OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES EXERCISE THEIR AUTHORITY PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THIS STATE AND ALL POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF THIS STATE ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING ANY PERSONNEL OR FINANCIAL RESOURCES TO ENFORCE, ADMINISTER OR COOPERATE WITH THE DESIGNATED FEDERAL ACTION OR PROGRAM.[6]


Background

AZ sovereignty measures

Proposition 122 was not the first attempt to address state sovereignty issues through ballot measures in Arizona. One proposed initiative in 2012 was very similar to Proposition 122. That initiated constitutional amendment would have allowed voters to reject federal actions with veto referendums. That measure was not certified for the ballot, but a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment was placed on the ballot in 2012 regarding state sovereignty and natural resources. It would have declared state sovereignty over the state's natural resources, including land, air, water, minerals and wildlife. The measure was defeated in the November 2012 election.

Supporter examples

Supporters of this 2014 measure used several examples to demonstrate what they believed were instances of federally-mandated unconstitutional actions. The following subsections provide some background context for those arguments. To read what supporters had to say about these issues in light of Proposition 122, see the support arguments subsection.

Child Protective Services

Ongoing problems with Child Protective Services were pointed to by supporters of Proposition 122 as a reason the measure was necessary. The agency was abolished by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in January 2014 following a series of scandals involving a backlog of over 6,000 cases from the state's hotline. It was replaced with a new agency called the Department of Child Safety.[8] According to the new agency's website, information protected by state or federal laws cannot be released by the agency, even in cases of deaths. "This may include: information regarding the source of a CPS report, information related to the privacy and dignity of crime victims (Arizona Constitution), criminal history information obtained from the Department of Public Safety, medical records protected under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and educational records protected under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act."[9]


ABC15 Arizona, "Arizona Child Protective Services," January 10, 2014

Affordable Care Act

See also: Affordable Care Act & Health insurance policy cancellations since Obamacare

Supporters of the proposition also argued that the loss of insurance plans caused by the Affordable Care Act demonstrated the need for the proposition. Despite early assurances that the act would allow people to keep their private insurance plans if they wanted, plan cancellations did occur due to the ten essential benefits for coverage required by the act.[10]

Tombstone water issue

The Forest Service has stated that the reemergence of the Mexican spotted owl, Strix occidentalis lucida, did not affect the permit issuing for Tombstone water project.

Another case pointed to by supporters of Proposition 122 in their arguments was the water issue in Tombstone, Arizona, following 2011's forest fires and flooding. The water line that had been supplying the city was damaged in the course of events. While the city worked to repair the water line, they had to comply with the 1964 Wilderness Act, as part of the line runs through Coronado National Forest. These regulations stipulate that digging must be done with shovels instead of bulldozers, and new pipe had to come up the mountain on horses instead of trucks. The conflict between the city and federal regulations increased and led to the city suing the federal government over the issue. The Goldwater Institute took on the city's representation in court. The city claimed ownership of 25 springs in the Huachuca Mountains, while the Forest Service claimed that the city only holds permits for five springs. Both sides have accused the other of exploiting the natural disasters of 2011 to promote or hinder the water project.[11] The reemergence of an endangered species, the Mexican spotted owl, following the forest fires was raised as possible reason for delaying work on the water line.[12] However, Forest Service officials later said that the owls' presence would have no effect on the permitting timeline for the water project.[13]


CNN, "Tombstone's water showdown," June 9, 2012

The following timeline of the court case was provided on the Goldwater Institute's website:

December 28, 2011: Tombstone files lawsuit in U.S. District Court against U.S. Forest Service
December 28, 2011: Tombstone files Motion for Preliminary Injunction
January 25, 2012: Goldwater Institute files Motion to Continue Consideration of Tenth Amendment Issues
February 20, 2012: Goldwater Institute files Tombstone’s Reply in Support of Motion to Extend Time by Severing and Continuing Consideration of Tenth Amendment Issues
March 30, 2012: Goldwater Institute files amended complaint
May 14, 2012: Court denies preliminary injunction
May 21, 2012: Goldwater Institute files for an injunction pending appeal
May 30, 2012: Ninth Circuit denies injunction
May 31, 2012: Goldwater Institute files emergency application with the Supreme Court of the United States[6]

Goldwater Institute, [14]

Analysis by Legislative Council

Proposition 122 would amend the Arizona Constitution to confirm that the state and federal government are subject to the United States Constitution.

Proposition 122 also would provide that Arizona may restrict the actions of its personnel and the use of its financial resources to purposes that are consistent with the United States Constitution by passing an initiative, referendum or bill or by pursuing any other available legal remedy. The state, counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions of the state would be prohibited from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer or cooperate with a federal action or program if the people or their representatives have exercised their authority to restrict such action or use.[6]

—Legislative Council, [15]

Support

AZ2014 Yes on Proposition 122.JPG

The official supporting campaign was called Yes on 122: Yes for Common Sense. Supporters referred to the measure as the Fiscal Priorities Act and the Checks and Balances Amendment.[16]

Supporters

Officials

Organizations

  • Yes for Common Sense
  • Tenth Amendment Center[18]

Individuals

SCR 1016 "Yes" votes

The following members of the Arizona State Legislature voted in favor of placing this measure on the ballot.[20][21]

Note: A yes vote on SCR 1016 merely referred the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators approved of the stipulations laid out in Proposition 122.

Senate

House

Arguments

Yes for Common Sense argued that while the state is required to comply with federal rules, they should not have to pay for "ill-conceived" legislation.[22] They also provided the following three examples of specific ways Proposition 122 would affect Arizona's interaction with federal laws.

Child Protective Serivces

You've seen the headlines: Children abused. Children neglected. Children killed by their own parents. CPS, the agency charged with protecting abused kids, often fails to investigate [...] The lawyers for CPS say that federal law prevents them from releasing this information. That's right, a federal law originally designed to protect kids is actually being used to protect the wrongdoing of bureaucrats instead. [...] Prop 122 forces Child Protective Services to be more transparent when children are harmed. Bureaucrats would be forced to give up documents that could shed light on where they made mistakes and more importantly give us insight into how we can prevent children from dying in the future.[6]

Yes for Common Sense, [23]

Healthcare mandate

[We] can all agree Arizonans should not lose doctors and insurance plans they want to keep. The good news is doctors and small businesses are innovating with free market solutions like "direct primary care" and "partially self-insured plans" to support their patients and employees.

Unfortunately, the federal government and anti-free market groups are looking to further limit our choices [...] Worst of all, they are trying to use the states to implement many of these restrictions. Some states have already succumbed to these pressures.

Prop 122 will allow us to prevent the federal government from making side deals with state bureaucrats restricting the choices of patients and businesses.[6]

Yes for Common Sense, [24]

Land and water

Tombstone, Arizona at the intersection of Allen Street and 5th Street.
[The] legendary Town of Tombstone, ravaged by floods and forest fires, was unable to repair damaged water lines that could prevent another devastating fire. The Federal government, citing concerns about the Mexican Spotted Owl, tried to block Tombstone from making repairs to damaged water lines that were desperately needed by the local fire department. [...] For over 132 years the Town of Tombstone has used this water and has a claim to the land that even predates Arizona becoming a state. Tombstone has survived gamblers, rustlers and shootouts but might not survive a stupid law in Washington D.C.

Is the State of Arizona obligated to help the Federal Government enforce a law that puts lives in danger?

If Prop 122 passes Arizona can stop helping the Federal Government from taking land and water away from the communities that need it.[6]

Yes for Common Sense, [25]

The Tenth Amendment Center defended Proposition 122, saying,

Opponents will inevitably argue that “federal law is supreme” (ignoring the words “in pursuance of” in the supremacy clause) and claim that Arizona has no authority to reject federal law. But even the Supreme Court agrees that states do not have to enforce federal acts – constitutional or otherwise.[6]

—Tenth Amendment Center, [18]


"Intervention Arizona - Prop 122," published by Yes on 122

Jess Yescalis of Phoenix argued in favor of the measure, saying,

Thanks to the wisdom of America’s Founding Fathers, we have been blessed to live in the greatest nation the world has ever known. Recognizing that, if left unchecked, the federal government would naturally grow and freedom would naturally diminish, the Framers went out of their way to limit the scope of their new government’s power.

The authors of the Constitution sought to restrain the power of the federal government by creating checks and balances and reserving significant powers to the states. In spite of these efforts, however, the federal government has grown larger, more intrusive, and more powerful than the Framers could ever have imagined. Today, Congress and the President not only pass laws that far exceed the scope of their enumerated powers, but they compel states and municipalities to pay for these laws out of their own state and local tax revenue. If passed by the voters on November 4, Prop 122 will provide Arizona with a simple but powerful mechanism to push back against federal overreach. To put it simply, Prop 122 will allow Arizona - either through an act of the Legislature or a vote of the people - to make the federal government pay its own bills. It won’t stop Congress from passing bad laws or prevent federal bureaucrats from imposing onerous rules and regulations, but it will at least allow us to make them pay for these things out of their own budgets. I encourage every Arizonan to vote Yes on 122.[6]

—Jess Yescalis, [15]

Clint Bolick, the vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, spoke in favor of Proposition 122, saying,

Which is your least-favorite federal agency? NSA? FDA? IRS? Nearly everyone today is rightly concerned that the federal government is too intrusive. Whether it’s snooping into our privacy or regulating our lives, the federal government has grown too powerful and unaccountable. The federal government often enlists states to do their bidding---but what may look like a good deal often turns out badly as federal regulations grow and states end up with the tab. As Darth Vader famously explained to Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back : “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.” Other than costly lawsuits, states have few tools to protect their citizens against federal overreach. States cannot nullify federal laws. But there is one thing states can control: their own dollars. Indeed, even when states grow heavily dependent on federal dollars, the Court has limited the federal government’s power to “alter the deal.”

Prop. 122 creates a new tool to protect individuals against federal overreach. When our elected state representatives--or the people themselves--determine that the federal government has overstepped its constitutional boundaries, it will stop the use of state money to further those objectives. It will not be an easy tool to deploy, requiring either a bill to pass the Legislature or a vote of the people. But when the federal government is out of control, Prop. 122 means it will have to use federal money--not state money--to achieve its objectives. That will allow Arizonans to use our state funds to support our priorities as we determine them, not as some far-away federal official wants them to be used. We can put an end to federal coercion over our tax dollars. VOTE YES ON PROP. 122![6]

—Clint Bolick, [15]

Jonathan Paton, campaign manager of Yes on 122, said the following in support of Proposition 122:[26]

States have a right and duty to be a check and balance to protect their citizens against bad federal laws. Too often, this involves suing the federal government in multiyear lawsuits with costly and uncertain outcomes. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has offered a way for the people to express their will that is much quicker, cheaper and reliable — by controlling how we spend our state money.[6]

—Jonathan Paton

According to the League of Women Voters of Arizona, arguments in support of Proposition 122 included:

1. It can help stop the federal government from taking land and water away from the communities that need it.
2. It would let AZ voters decide how AZ resources should be spent.
3. AZ should not lose doctors and insurance plans they want to keep. This would prevent the federal government from making side deals with state bureaucrats restricting choices of patients and businesses.
4. The Supreme Court agrees that states do not have to enforce federal acts — constitutional or otherwise.[6]

—League of Women Voters of Arizona, [27]

Campaign contributions

Yes for Common Sense registered with the secretary of state's campaign finance office as supporting Proposition 122 on November 18, 2013. The following totals were accurate as of the October 31, 2014, campaign finance report.[28][29][30]

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of October 31, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $380,760
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $5,249

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Yes for Common Sense $380,760 $339,512
Total $380,760 $339,512

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
Jack Charles Biltis $312,075
Christine J. Toretti $25,000
Randy Kendrick $25,000

Opposition

Sierra Club.png

Opponents

SCR 1016 "No" votes

The following members of the Arizona State Legislature voted against placing this measure on the ballot.[20][21]

Note: A no vote on SCR 1016 meant that a legislator did not want to refer the question to voters and did not necessarily mean these legislators disapproved of the stipulations laid out in Proposition 122.

Senate

House

Arguments

According to the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon Chapter, Proposition 122 "would have an extremely negative impact on protection of natural resources, especially relative to the Legislature's role." They further argued:

The Arizona Legislature has a very poor record of determining what is constitutional or what is good for our state’s natural resources, yet we are supposed to leave it up to the Legislature to decide whether or not our state will abide by the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, or the Endangered Species Act?[...]

Americans have a long history of supporting laws to protect natural resources. We no longer have rivers catching on fire and air pollutants from smokestacks and automobiles have been reduced significantly. Many species of plants and animals have been brought back from the brink of extinction. SCR1016 says the Arizona Legislature can reject these laws and their enforcement in Arizona. Where would the Mexican gray wolf, the California condor, or the black-footed ferret be without the Endangered Species Act? How bad would the air quality be in Phoenix without the Clean Air Act? What would the water quality be on the Colorado River without the Clean Water Act? We still have work to do in all these areas, but without these important federal laws, we would have dirtier air, more polluted waters, and less diversity of animals and plants.[6]

Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter, [31]

The Sierra Club also released a statement that was printed in the state's official election guide. It read:

Stop Legislature from Weakening Laws that Protect Our Air and Water

Vote “NO” on Proposition 122 Proposition 122 is a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that was referred to the ballot by the Arizona Legislature. It is another bad idea from a legislature that has promoted many outlandish and unconstitutional measures to ignore, undermine, weaken, and defund implementation of important federal laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Misleadingly wrapped in constitutional language, Proposition 122 would, if passed by voters, allow the Arizona Legislature to pass a bill to say these important laws are “unconstitutional.” Proposition 122 authorizes this despite the fact that these laws have been upheld by the courts and strongly supported by the people and despite the fact that they provide important protections for our air, water, wildlife, health, and economy. Proposition 122 is contrary to the US Constitution and to common sense. The state legislature has already given Arizona a black-eye on both the local and national level - the last thing we need is another round of lawsuits or more actions that make Arizona look extreme and irresponsible. The fiscal impact to the state and the tax burden on state taxpayers could be significant. We cannot afford to stand by and watch as protection after protection that safeguard our families is weakened or ignored. We clearly cannot trust the Arizona Legislature to clean up our air and water or to protect our wildlife or our health as it pursues extreme politics that most citizens do not support. We urge all Arizonans to vote no on Proposition 122.[6]

—Elna Otter, Chairperson, Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter, Benson Don Steuter, Conservation Chair, Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter, Phoenix, [15]

Other arguments opposing Proposition 122 that appeared in the state's official election guide included:

NO on Proposition 122

I am opposed to Prop 122 for these reasons:

1. Protection of air, land, and water: Pollution does not stop at state borders; federal laws and protections are necessary to reduce pollution across state borders. Vote NO if you want a coordinated effort on clean air, clean water, and protection of endangered animals and plants.
2. Federal protection for public lands: Federal public lands belong to all Americans. The way to change federal legislation is with our U.S. representatives not the Arizona legislature. Federal laws are created by U.S. representatives and should promote the common good of all residents in all states. Vote NO if you believe we need federal policies such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to protect our air, land, and water.
3. Cost to taxpayers: This bill is clearly unconstitutional and challenges the separation of powers and the relationship between state and federal government which is the heart of the U.S. Constitution. This bill would cost Arizona taxpayers much money, time, and energy in lawsuits. It would also slow down efforts to enforce current environmental legislation such as Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Vote NO if you do not want the state wasting money on lawsuits but rather enforcing laws that protect us all, our health and the health of our children and grandchildren.[6]

—Jeanne Devine, retired sociologist, grandmother, environmental activist, Tempe, [15]

Stop Legislative Power Grab on Arizona’s Wildlife!

Vote NO on Proposition 122 Unfortunately the Arizona Legislature’s war on wildlife did not end with the 2014 session. Instead lawmakers referred a measure to the ballot that could remove protection for our state’s wildlife and habitat. Proposition 122 would roll the clock back to the time before important federal laws were enacted, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Proposition 122 is a proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution that was referred to the ballot by the Arizona Legislature, which has a long history of advancing measures to weaken federal laws that protect wildlife, including the Endangered Species Act which was signed into law by President Nixon in 1973. Arizona has 37 species that are considered endangered or threatened, including Jaguars, Condors, Mexican gray wolves, and Desert Tortoises. Without this crucial federal law and funding, these animals would likely disappear from our state. If Proposition 122 is passed by voters, it would grant authority for politicians to declare federal laws unconstitutional and to withhold staffing or resources for laws they don’t like. If this measure seems familiar, it’s because it is a repeat attempt by the legislature to take over our state’s wildlife and habitat. Lawmakers referred a similar proposition to the ballot in 2012, which voters defeated by a landslide 68% to 32% margin. Arizona’s wildlife is held in trust for the benefit of all citizens. But despite their dismal track record, legislators want us to trust them to manage and protect our wildlife, water, and lands. Tell the Arizona Legislature that our state’s wildlife belongs to citizens - not power-hungry politicians. Vote NO on Proposition 122.[6]

—Karen Michael, Peoria, [15]

The Arizona Legislature is at it again. Proposition 122, referred by the legislature, is another of its bad ideas. This proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution would give these legislators more power. If adopted by the voters, Arizona could pass a bill that would forbid the State from expending personnel and financial resources on any federal action that they do not agree with, including many important protections.

Arizona citizens strongly support laws that protect our air, water, wildlife, and environmental quality, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Here in Pima County, the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan is a true public/private partnership developed by the community over the last decade. Rooted in the federal Endangered Species Act and currently in the final stages of development, efforts could be wasted if Proposition 122 is passed. Rare and unique Sonoran Desert plants and animals would be immediately threatened by irresponsible actions and inadequate protection if the State could refuse to implement federal laws. Residents and visitors alike treasure our natural environment and Arizona’s outdoors, and the negative economic impact could be significant. We cannot let the State Legislature allow and promote damage to our air, water, wildlife and precious natural resources. We urge all Arizonans to vote NO on Proposition 122.[6]

—Carolyn Campbell, Executive Director, and Carianne Campbell, Board Member, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson, [15]

According to the League of Women Voters of Arizona, arguments opposing Proposition 122 included:

1. This would have extremely negative impact on protection of natural resources, especially relative to the Legislature’s role.
2. If voters or the Legislature decide to deny services for certain federal actions, the federal government will likely sue and the courts will be the deciding factor in the end.
3. The referendum is unconstitutional. The state cannot supersede federal authority.
4. This is more ammunition for the late night talk shows to laugh at Arizona.[6]

—League of Women Voters of Arizona, [27]

Campaign contributions

No on Prop 122 registered with the secretary of state's campaign finance office as supporting Proposition 122 on October 7, 2014. The following totals were accurate as of the October 31, 2014, campaign finance report.[32]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
No on Prop 122 $5,249 $5,099
Total $5,249 $5,099

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
SIERRA CLUB $1,000
Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection $1,000
Center for Biological Diversity $1,000
SONORAN INSTITUTE $1,000

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Arizona ballot measures, 2014

Support

  • The News-Herald said,
Prop. 122 is far from perfect, but it does provide a mechanism for Arizona to fight back against laws made inside the cocoon of the Washington beltway that are contrary to the needs and desires of the West.

With a burgeoning federal government and a president who says he’ll work through executive orders rather than Congress, states need all the ammo they can get in dealing with regulation of large tracts of land, water and even social issues such as health care and immigration.

As such, Prop. 122 deserves to be an arrow in Arizona’s quiver, held judiciously in reserve in case it’s needed to help decide a battle between federal power and state and local rights.[6]

News-Herald, [33]

Opposition

  • The Sierra Vista Herald said,
In confusing language, this is an effort by conservative state lawmakers — Rep. David Gowan is listed as one of the supporters — to fight with the federal government about state authority. It would create disputes between Arizona and the federal government on parks, public lands, public safety services and a host of other topics that involve a working relationship between local and state governments with the federal government.

Stated bluntly, at a time when the State Legislature faces myriad financial challenges, this proposition is an unnecessary distraction that would invite long and expensive court battles with the federal government, which Arizona would most likely lose. [6]

Sierra Vista Herald, [34]

  • The Arizona Republic said,
This is the Legislature's latest attempt to thumb its nose at Washington, D.C. Voters have resoundingly rejected previous iterations. They should do the same with this one...Prop. 122 would ensure full employment of lawyers. It is a temper tantrum that would solve nothing.

Voters should reject Prop. 122. [6]

Arizona Republic, [35]

  • The Arizona Daily Star said,
Prop. 122 is an effort at rebelliously asserting “sovereignty” that has no constitutional basis. If passed and eventually, inevitably, challenged in court, it will ultimately be only a waste of taxpayers’ money as the state seeks to defend its actions — and fails.

Let’s not swagger down this dead-end avenue. Vote no on Prop. 122. [6]

Arizona Daily Star, [36]

Path to the ballot

Arizona Constitution
Flag of Arizona.png
Preamble
Articles
1234566.178910111213141516171819202122252627282930
See also: Laws governing ballot measures in Arizona & Amending the Arizona Constitution

According to Article 21 of the Arizona Constitution, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment can go to the ballot if a majority of members in both the Senate and House approve it. After approval from the legislature, the proposed amendment goes on a statewide ballot for a popular vote of the people where, if approved by a simple majority, it becomes part of the constitution. On May 14, 2013, the House approved the measure with a vote of 36 to 23. Previously, on March 4, 2013, the Senate passed it 16 to 12.[4]

Senate vote

March 4, 2013, Senate vote

Arizona SCR 1016 Senate vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 16 57.14%
No1242.86%

House vote

May 14, 2013, House vote

Arizona SCR 1016 House vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 36 61.02%
No2338.98%

Similar measures

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. Governing, "Arizona Doesn't Have to Follow Federal Laws -- Or Does It?" September 16, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 KJZZ.org, "Arizona voters to decide state sovereignty measure in 2014," May 14, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arizona State Legislature, "SCR 1016," accessed February 7, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 OpenStates.org, "SCR 1016: Arizona Senate Concurrent Resolution - Rejection of unconstitutional federal actions," accessed May 24, 2013
  5. Arizona Secretary of State, "2014 General Election Ballot Measures," accessed July 1, 2014
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  7. Arizona Secretary of State, "Attorney General Approval of 2014 Ballot Measures," accessed September 8, 2014
  8. The Daily Banter, "Why Arizona Abolished Child Protective Services," January 17, 2014
  9. Arizona Department of Economic Security: Department of Child Safety, "Department of Child Safety (DCS) Frequently Asked Questions," accessed July 1, 2014
  10. The Washington Post, "This is why Obamacare is canceling some people’s insurance plans," October 29, 2013
  11. CNN, "Showdown at the H2O Corral," May 10, 2012
  12. CNN, "Spotted owl could be game-changer in Tombstone water war," June 9, 2012
  13. Cronkite News, "Officials say spotted owl doesn’t matter one hoot in Tombstone water feud," June 11, 2014
  14. Goldwater Institute, "Tombstone v. United States," February 17, 2012
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Arizona Secretary of State, "2014 What's on My Ballot? Arizona's General Election Guide (Ballot Propositions & Judicial Performance Review): Proposition 122," accessed September 28, 2014
  16. Yes on 122, "Homepage," accessed October 6, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mohave Daily News, "Three state propositions go before voters," September 25, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 Tenth Amendment Center, "Arizona Voters Get Opportunity To Consider State Sovereignty Amendment In November 2014," May 15, 2013
  19. The New American, "Arizona Prop 122 Restores State Power to Reject Federal Mandates," July 11, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 Open States, "Senate Vote on SCR 1016," accessed November 1, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 OpenStates.org, "House Vote on SCR 1016," accessed November 1, 2014
  22. Yes on 122, "Why Yes on 122," accessed July 1, 2014
  23. Yes on 122, "Protect our children," accessed July 1, 2014
  24. Yes on 122, "Protect our healthcare," accessed July 1, 2014
  25. Yes on 122, "Protect our property," accessed July 1, 2014
  26. AZCentral, "Why Prop. 122? The feds are killing us," October 23, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 League of Women Voters of Arizona Education Fund: Voter Guide, "Proposition 122: Rejection of Unconstitutional Federal Actions," accessed September 28, 2014
  28. Arizona Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance - Filer Details: Yes for Common Sense," accessed September 29, 2014
  29. Arizona Secretary of State, "Campaign Finance Report, Yes for Common Sense," June 30, 2014
  30. Arizona Secretary of State Campaign Finance - Filer Details, "Yes On 122 Campaign Finance report," October 31, 2014
  31. Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter, "Legislative Tracker: rejection of unconstitutional federal actions," accessed July 1, 2014
  32. Arizona Secretary of State Campaign Finance - Filer Details, "No on Prop 122 Campaign Finance Report," October 31, 2014
  33. News-Herald, "Prop. 122 imperfect, but helps state's rights," October 12, 2014
  34. Sierra Vista Herald, "OUR VIEW: Three 'no' votes on Nov. 4," September 20, 2014
  35. Arizona Republic, "3 Arizona ballot initiatives in 3 words," October 7, 2014
  36. Arizona Daily Star, "Proposition 122: Let's not even go there," October 12, 2014