Request Investigation of Arizona Law by U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights

WHEREAS, the League of United Latin American Citizens is this nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization, founded in Corpus Christi, Texas on February 17, 1929; and

WHEREAS, LULAC throughout its history has committed itself to the principles that Latinos have equal access to opportunities in employment, education, housing and healthcare; and

WHEREAS, SB1167, which was signed into law in April of2011, governs how voters can challenge legislative referenda; and

WHEREAS, if someone wants to challenge a referendum or proposed amendment to the state constitution, as referred to the voters by the Legislature, he or she must file the challenge within 20 days after the referendum is filed with the Secretary of State, if the referendum is filled in an odd-numbered year 10 days after the referendum is filed with the Secretary of State, if the referendum is filed in an even-numbered year; and

WHEREAS; the courts are directed to hear the challenge as quickly as possible (in fact, the challenge must be moved up on the court's calendar) Maricopa County Superior Court will have jurisdiction over any challenge filed pursuant to this new law After the court renders a judgment, either party can appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court within 5 days; and

WHEREAS, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each have a right to be heard in the challenge The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may file legal briefs and legally intervene in the case if they wish, or they can decline to participate in the matter; and

WHEREAS, SB1167, now law, has a strike-everything amendment added that enacts an emergency measure that establishes a statute of limitation for actions to challenge the legal sufficiency of a measure referred by the legislature; and

WHEREAS, this law severely limits the ability of individuals and groups to challenge the lawfulness and constitutionality of measures referred by the Arizona legislature; and

WHEREAS, there will be an extremely limited amount of time to analyze, consider and seek legal counsel; and

WHEREAS, it will further advantage the paid lobbyists and the groups they represent versus the public interest groups such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) that may not have the capacity to engage regularly in the legislative process; and

WHEREAS, this law also sets a double standard for referenda from legislative and citizen initiatives,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that LULAC joins other groups to seek remedy of this problematic law by contacting the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division' Washington, D.C. and ask that this Division investigate the possible discrimination of minority populations.

Approved this 1st day of July 2011.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President

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