Arizona Judge Refuses To Stop Voter-Approved Law For Transparent Campaign Financing

On Friday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge in Arizona declined to grant a request from Republican state legislators to obstruct a transparency in campaign funding law which was approved by the voters.

Judge Timothy Ryan declined to grant a preliminary injunction which would have halted the anti-dark money law. Additionally, he declined to terminate the Republican Party’s legal challenge of Proposition 211, which had been approved by Arizona voters over a year before.

In August, Arizona’s Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma, both Republicans, launched a legal challenge against Arizona’s Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

Supporters of the campaign finance law are claiming it is unconstitutional due to the infringement of the separation of powers. They are of the belief that by giving a commission the authority to create guidelines for the law, the Legislature’s role in the lawmaking process is weakened.

Arizona has authorized that major benefactors to electoral campaigns must be identified. This wasn’t the case before, as non-profit organizations were able to keep their donors concealed.

On Nov. 8, 2022, voters approved the proposition with a majority of 72%, amounting to approximately 1.7 million votes.

Ryan declared in his ruling that the lawmakers failed to provide any justification for their nine-month delay in filing their legal challenge. Furthermore, he noted that there was no reference to any legislation that could be influenced by the voter-endorsed campaign finance law.