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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Court Rules Katie Hobbs Violated State Law by Failing to Nominate Directors for Senate Confirmation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024   

Court Rules Katie Hobbs Violated State Law by

Failing to Nominate Directors for Senate Confirmation


PHOENIX, ARIZONA— After months of throwing Arizona's critical state agencies into chaos and subjecting these entities to a host of potential legal challenges, while also creating confusion for the citizens of Arizona, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled today Katie Hobbs' scheme to circumvent the Senate confirmation process for director nominations is unlawful and must be immediately reversed.


Consistent with the United States Constitution and the laws of states across this nation, Arizona law requires its agencies to be led by Senate-confirmed directors, under A.R.S. § 38-211. This requirement exists to preserve the liberties of Arizona's citizens. Just as the Governor's veto serves as a check on legislative power, Senate confirmation of agency directors serves as a necessary check on the Governor's power.


In September of 2023, after a Senate committee recommended a nominee accused of plagiarism not be confirmed, Hobbs sent a letter to Senate President Warren Petersen notifying him that she was going to evade the senate-confirmation process for agency directors, mandated by A.R.S. § 38-211. Under her ill-advised plan, blessed by Attorney General Mayes, Hobbs withdrew 13 director nominations still pending before the Senate. She then re-installed these same individuals with a fake title of "Executive Deputy Directors." Based on flimsy legal reasoning, which Hobbs' own attorney later described as "strange," Hobbs claimed these fake directors had the same power and authority as Senate-confirmed directors. After months of discussions, she continued to insist she was above the law. As a result, President Petersen sued Hobbs.


Today, the Honorable Scott Blaney confirmed Governor Hobbs violated state law with her illegal scheme. Under Judge Blaney's order, Hobbs must submit nominees to fill the supposed "vacancies" created by her now-debunked strategy. The court rightly recognized that “the Governor willfully circumvented th[e] statutory process and eliminated the Legislative branch from its oversight role.” 


"We're witnessing a very disturbing trend of our Governor breaking our laws," said Senate President Warren Petersen. "Contrary to what she may believe, she is not above the law, and the Legislature is fulfilling its role in serving as the constitutional check and balance against her abuse of power. This case is a prime example of Democrats weaponizing Arizona's government for their own political gain and to implement their radical left agenda. Unfortunately, every decision made by these fake directors on behalf of our state agencies will be under a microscope, opening the door for a myriad of lawsuits. I'm disappointed with our attorney general once again supporting another unlawful order by the Governor, but I'm very pleased with the court's rightful interpretation of our statutes. I look forward to the Governor's cooperation so that we may reinstate sanity after this chaotic period she created for the entire state of Arizona."


For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

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