Top-two primary supporters appeal to high court
Published: August 8, 2012 at 11:29 am
The committee pushing an initiative to create a “top-two” primary system is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling and keep the proposal on the November ballot.
The Open Government Committee on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court for expedited consideration of the issue. Justice John Pelander ordered all parties to file briefs in the case by Friday, with responses due by Tuesday.
Pelander did not schedule any oral arguments in the case. He said any requests for oral arguments must be filed by Tuesday as well, and must explain the specific need.
The committee is hoping the Supreme Court will overturn the injunction ordered Monday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain. Brain ruled that the Open Elections/Open Government Act violated the separate amendment rule in the Arizona Constitution. The act would create a system in which all candidates for an office run on the same ballot in the primary and the top two vote getters advance to the general election.
The separate amendment rule requires ballot initiatives to have a singular focus. Brain said a provision in the initiative eliminating public funding for precinct committeeman elections was not consistent with the rest of the initiative.