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Case Name Arizonans for Fair Elections v. Hobbs VR-AZ-0054
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-00658-DWL ( D. Ariz. )
Additional Docket(s) 20-15719  [ 20-15719 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: Challenge to Arizona law requiring in-person signatures on ballot initiatives in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district court found for the defendants and the plaintiffs appealed to the Ninth Circuit. However, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the appeal on May 19.
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COVID-19 Summary: Challenge to Arizona law requiring in-person signatures on ballot initiatives in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The district court found for the defendants and the plaintiffs appealed to the Ninth Circuit. However, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the appeal on May 19.


On April 2, 2020, two Arizona non-profit organizations and one Arizona elector filed this lawsuit against the Arizona Secretary of State and all Arizona County Recorders in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of a state law governing the signature-gathering process for ballot initiative measures (Title 1, Chapter 19, Arizona Revised Statutes). Specifically, they argued that given the COVID-19 pandemic, the law's prohibition on use of the state's online signature-gathering platform violated the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. The plaintiffs requested declaratory relief and an injunction that would allow initiative petition proponents and supporters to use Arizona's secure online signature-collection system; they moved for a preliminary injunction to that effect. The case was assigned to Judge Dominic W. Lanza.

On April 6, 2020, the State of Arizona filed a motion to intervene as a defendant. On April 9, the court granted the State of Arizona's motion, finding that the State needed to be made a party in order to adequately resolve the case. 2020 WL 1808667. On April 8, 2020, the Speaker of Arizona House of Representatives filed a motion to intervene as a defendant. On April 10, the court denied the motion, finding that the Speaker's participation was not necessary in order to fairly litigate the merits of the case. 2020 WL 1821991.

Numerous amicus curiae filed briefs with the court regarding the motion for preliminary injunction.

On April 16, 2020, the State of Arizona filed a motion to conditionally certify the question as to whether the plaintiffs have standing to bring the claim in light of unchallenged state constitutional requirements about in-person voting. Since the question of state law could be dispositive, the defendant argued that the district court should certify the question to the Arizona Supreme Court so that the state law question could be resolved.

On April 17, 2020, Judge Lanza dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint due to a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Specifically, he noted that the requested relief would be unlikely to redress the plaintiffs' injuries, that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits, and that granting a temporary restraining order would not be in the public interest. 2020 WL 1905747.

On April 20, 2020, the plaintiffs' appealed the district court's order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

On May 5, the Ninth Circuit denied the plaintiffs' emergency motion for injunctive relief, as the plaintiffs did not challenge the Arizona constitutional requirement of in-person signatures. On May 18, the plaintiffs moved to dismiss the appeal voluntarily, and the next day the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal and canceled the mediation.

Hope Brinn - 04/23/2020
Averyn Lee - 06/09/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Election administration
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Defendant(s) Apache County Recorder
Arizona Secretary of State
Cochise County Recorder
Cococino County Recorder
Gila County Recorder
Graham County Recorder
Greenlee County Recorder
La Paz County Recorder
Maricopa County Recorder
Mohave County Recorder
Navajo County Recorder
Pima County Recorder
Pinal County Recorder
Santa Cruz County Recorder
State of Arizona
Yavapai County Recorder
Yuma County Recorder
Plaintiff Description Two Arizona non-profit organizations and one Arizona elector.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 04/02/2020
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing VR-AZ-0055 : Arizonans for Second Chances v. Hobbs (State Court)
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
20-CV-00658 (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0054-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
20-15719 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
VR-AZ-0054-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CV-20-0098-SA (State Supreme Court)
VR-AZ-0054-9002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/15/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint and Request for Injunction [ECF# 1]
VR-AZ-0054-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 2]
VR-AZ-0054-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 46]
VR-AZ-0054-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Pima County Recorder's Response to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 53]
VR-AZ-0054-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to the State's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 59]
VR-AZ-0054-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Intervene of Proposed Intervenor Defendants Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and President of the Arizona Senate [ECF# 60]
VR-AZ-0054-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 61] (2020 WL 1808667) (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0054-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 62]
VR-AZ-0054-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Intervene of Proposed Intervenor Defendants Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and President of the Arizona Senate [ECF# 63]
VR-AZ-0054-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply in Support of the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and President of the Arizona Senate's Motion to Intervene [ECF# 69]
VR-AZ-0054-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Navajo County Recorder Doris Clark's Notice of Joinder to Pinal County Defendant's Response/Opposition to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 72]
VR-AZ-0054-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Mohave County Recorder's Response to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 73]
VR-AZ-0054-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 75] (2020 WL 1821991) (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0054-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State of Arizona's Corrected Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 2) [ECF# 77]
VR-AZ-0054-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 78]
VR-AZ-0054-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Affidavit of Christopher Gallaway [ECF# 79]
VR-AZ-0054-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Santa Cruz County Recorder's Joinder in Defendant Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes' Response to Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 85]
VR-AZ-0054-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State's Conditional Motion to Certify [ECF# 100]
VR-AZ-0054-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Opposition to the State's Conditional Motion to Certify [ECF# 101]
VR-AZ-0054-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 103] (2020 WL 1905747) (D. Ariz.)
VR-AZ-0054-0020.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
State of Arizona's Corrected Combined Response to Plaintiffs' Emergency Motion for an Injunction Pending Appeal and Response to Amici [Ct. of App. ECF# BL-26]
VR-AZ-0054-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2020
Source: Bloomberg Law
Response of Arizona Secretary of State to Amicus Brief by Arizona Republican Party [Ct. of App. ECF# 30]
VR-AZ-0054-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2020
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 37]
VR-AZ-0054-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2020
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order
VR-AZ-0054-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: State Court Website
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 40]
VR-AZ-0054-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/19/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Brutinel, Robert M. Court not on record show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0025
Collins, Daniel Paul (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0023
Lanza, Dominic William (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0007 | VR-AZ-0054-0013 | VR-AZ-0054-0020 | VR-AZ-0054-9000
Nguyen, Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0023
Silverman, Barry G. (D. Ariz., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0023
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barton, James E. II (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0001 | VR-AZ-0054-0002 | VR-AZ-0054-0005 | VR-AZ-0054-0009 | VR-AZ-0054-0019 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Brown, D. Aaron (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Desai, Roopali H. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Gaona, D. Andrew (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Soto, Jaqueline Mendez (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0001 | VR-AZ-0054-0002 | VR-AZ-0054-0005 | VR-AZ-0054-0009 | VR-AZ-0054-0019 | VR-AZ-0054-9000
Torres, Israel G. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9000
Yost, Kristen M. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Andrews, Jillian Laura (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0015 | VR-AZ-0054-0022 | VR-AZ-0054-9000
Arellano, Daniel Abraham (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0015 | VR-AZ-0054-0022 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Branco, Joseph James (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0008 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Brnovich, Mark (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Cameron, Craig Charles (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Dooley, Ryan Norton (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Ensign, Drew Curtis (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Hanson, Britt Wesley (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Haws, Jeffrey Blane (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0012 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Herrera, Roy Jr. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0015 | VR-AZ-0054-0022 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Hunley, Kimberly Janiece (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0017 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Jernigan, Greg (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Jurkowitz, Daniel S. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0004 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Kanefield, Joseph Andrew (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Kerekes, William J. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
LaRue, Joseph Eugene (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0008 | VR-AZ-0054-9000
Makar, Robert John (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0003 | VR-AZ-0054-0014 | VR-AZ-0054-0018 | VR-AZ-0054-0021 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Moore, Jason Stanley (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0011 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9001
Napolitano, Anthony R. (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Roberts, Christine Joyce (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Roysden, Brunn Wall III (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Winkeler, Rose Marie (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Wright, Jennifer J. (Texas) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0014 | VR-AZ-0054-0018 | VR-AZ-0054-0021 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Other Lawyers Adelman, Daniel Jay (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Ahern, Jane (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Aiken, Shawn K. (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Barnes, Rhonda L. (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Brown, David Aaron (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Cantelme, David J. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-0006 | VR-AZ-0054-0010 | VR-AZ-0054-9000 | VR-AZ-0054-9002
Eckstein, Paul F. (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Flores, Lisette (Arizona) show/hide docs
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James, Becky S. (California) show/hide docs
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La Sota, Timothy (Arizona) show/hide docs
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LaSota, Timothy Andrew (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Malloy, Tara (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001
Miller, Lee (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Pappas, Andrew George (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001
Sandefur, Timothy Mason (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Sandefur, Christina (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9002
Sandler, Joseph Eric (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001
Scharff, Spencer Garrett (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Scheff, Stacy E. (Arizona) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001
Wilenchik, John Douglas (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Wilenchik, Dennis Ira (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Winkler, Rachel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
VR-AZ-0054-9001
Yost, Austin (Arizona) show/hide docs
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