AZ Supreme Court Rejects Chamber of Commerce Attempt to Get Court to Apply Single Subject Rule to Voter Initiatives

From the opinion:

This Court has long recognized that the Single Subject Rule applies only to acts by the legislature; it does not apply to initiatives. See Citizens Clean Elections Comm’n v. Myers, 196 Ariz. 516, 525 ¶ 36 (2000); Iman v. Bolin, 98 Ariz. 358, 365 (1965); Barth v. White, 40 Ariz. 548, 555-56 (1932). Initiative petitions are governed by the Arizona Constitution, article 4, part 1, § 1, which, as relevant here, requires only that a proposed measure have some title and some text. See Ariz. Const. art. 4, pt. 1, § 1(9); Iman, 98 Ariz. at 365; Barth, 40 Ariz. at 556.

Petitioners ask us to reconsider our prior decisions. They point out that Barth, the genesis for the line of precedent, involved an initiative–proposed constitutional amendment, and other states now favor applying provisions similar to the Single Subject Rule to such initiatives. We decline to revisit our decisions.

The Barth line of cases did not turn on the substance of the initiatives at issue. Indeed, the initiative measures at issue in Citizens Clean Elections Commission and Iman proposed statutory amendments, not constitutional amendments. See Citizens Clean Elections Comm’n, 196 Ariz. at 518 ¶ 2; Iman, 98 Ariz. at 362. This Court’s prior decisions are further supported by the Single Subject Rule’s language and placement within the constitution. The Rule applies to “act[s],” which are enacted by the ARIZONA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY, ET AL. V. KILEY (STATE, ET AL.) Opinion of the Court 15 legislature, and does not address initiative or referendum petitions. Cf. Barth, 40 Ariz. at 556 (recognizing that an initiative petition is not an “act”). And the Single Subject Rule is set forth in article 4, part 2 of the constitution, which addresses “The Legislature.”

The Single Subject Rule does not apply.

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