Phoenix organization joins lawsuit against Pima County curfew

Phoenix organization joins lawsuit against Pima County curfew
Closed sign (generic). (Source: Tim Mossholder)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Goldwater Institute in Phoenix has joined with a group of Pima County businesses challenging the county’s 10 p.m. curfew. The organization says although the curfew was enacted with good intentions, it violates Arizona law.

The organization says Arizona’s Emergency Management Act does not allow counties in the state to legally adopt these types of measures, and that Gov. Ducey’s executive order in May 2020 forbids counties from making “any order, rule or regulation that conflicts with or is in addition to… this Executive Order.”

Furthermore, Goldwater argues that the act only allows counties to impose curfews when one is necessary to preserve peace and order; and since the county’s was enacted with the intention of slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, it doesn’t count.

Below is a partial statement of Goldawater’s reasoning in joining the lawsuit. To read the entire nine-page argeument, click [HERE].

“Pima County’s curfew isn’t just a legal question about the balance of state and local power, however. Curfews and other mandatory government measures are always backed by the authority of law enforcement officials to arrest people and put them in jail—meaning that every such mandate raises the possibility of violent confrontations between citizens and law enforcement, and the possibility that citizens might wind up in custody, where social distancing and other public health measures are harder to maintain.

Legal mandates and punishment don’t necessarily ensure compliance—but they do increase the risks of violence and the potential spread of disease, which makes them counterproductive in many instances. They also strain police resources, which is one reason why law enforcement officers in major cities, including Los Angeles and San Bernardino, have announced that they will not enforce similar restrictions imposed in California.

There’s no denying that the public health situation is dire, or that Arizonans, like all Americans, need to be especially careful in this time of emergency. But Arizona’s Emergency Management Act was designed to balance the authority of state and local powers in ways that ensure the efficiency of government—and to prevent public officials from going too far and violate the rights of the people they’re supposed to protect.”

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.