PHOENIX — A judge considering whether a new law making it easier to challenge citizen initiatives in court meets constitutional muster could issue a decision at any time.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told lawyers after a two-day hearing last month that she’d rule by last Friday, but the decision was delayed. The law takes effect Wednesday, so a ruling is expected as soon as Monday.
Attorneys representing advocacy groups argued the Legislature overstepped its bounds when it tightened the legal standard for initiative challenges. They also said lawmakers had unconstitutional motives.
The Legislature’s lawyer and the state solicitor general told Stephens lawmakers were within their rights to overrule decades of state Supreme Court precedent holding initiative efforts to lower legal standards.
Whichever side loses is expected to appeal.