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Arizona court allows suit against governor over implementation of Proposition 200

[JURIST] The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled [PDF text] Thursday that immigration reform groups can pursue a lawsuit against Governor Janet Napolitano [official website] alleging her administration improperly limited Proposition 200 [PDF text; JURIST report], a voter-approved ballot initiative that requires proof of citizenship before a person can vote or receive public benefits. Judge G. Murray Snow held that the trial judge incorrectly dismissed the case, brought by immigration reform groups [JURIST report] soon after Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard [official website] wrote an advisory opinion [PDF text, JURIST report] limiting the scope of the law to certain welfare-related programs. Snow also noted that the governor has a responsibility to faithfully execute the laws as passed, and that the law itself allows Arizona residents to sue state and local agencies that are not in compliance.

The court did not allow the groups to sue Goddard over his opinion, saying courts should not second guess the formal opinions of the Attorney General. The law has been subjected to numerous legal challenges since being approved, especially regarding provisions requiring Arizona citizens to show government-issued ID cards [JURIST news archive] before being allowed to vote. Capitol Media has more.

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