health benefits

Arizona AG Terry Goddard Will Appeal to Secure Right to Discriminate Against Gay State Employees

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard (pictured), who is campaigning for governor, will appeal a judge’s ruling that halted the state from implementing HB 2013, which would bar the state from granting health benefits to the partners of gay employees, which costs Arizona about $3 million of its $625 million budget to provide benefits to all state employees. Says Gov. Jan Brewer’s office: “We are appealing the preliminary injunction because we disagree with the federal court’s initial injunction ruling and we believe the legislature has the ultimate authority to make state employee benefit decisions.”

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  • Tom-AZ

    He has to defend the Legislatures actions, almost no matter what they want. Not much choice.


    Gee, what a suprise! Make any move to try and deflect attention from the immigration bill and target the only group that can still be targeted for unlimited hate legislation and used as the national punching bag……..the Gays……..

  • adam

    @Tom-AZ: No, he does not. Attorneys-general are completely allowed to not defend a law if they so choose.

  • menlo

    Arizona at one time was a nice laid back place to go for a relaxing if hot vacation. Now it has degenerated into a hate-filled cesspool of foreclosed homes, rightwing nutcases and environmental disasters. I don’t even want to drive through there now, much less spend my dollars there.

  • WalkderDC


    No he doesn’t, CA. AG Jerry Brown refused to defend Prop 8 in court.

  • Sam

    @adam: “Completely allowed” and “if they so choose” might be overstating the case a bit. Yes, there’s nothing that requires them to defend it, but voters will likely not re-elect an AG who refuses to do his/her job frequently. It’s the AG’s JOB to defend the state from lawsuits.

    Also, by refusing to defend the law, Goddard would likely scuttle his chances of winning the governorship. It’s not like Arizona is a bastion of progressivism. But if he wins, he can simply re-instate same-sex partner benefits, the way Janet Napolitano did when she was Governor (before Jan Sewer came in and took ’em away).

  • Tom-AZ

    That may be the way California is setup but its not the way Arizona is setup. the Attorney General himself could decline a case , but the case would move forward under his powers regardless. The Deputy Attorney General would then appeal using the powers of the Attorney General. Thus, no choice.

    The one time in Arizona history that the Attorney General has not defended the state is SB 1070 and that is because Jan Brewer wrote into SB 1070 a clause removing the Attorney General from legal representation.

    Otherwise, it defaults back to the Attorney General and the powers vested in him by the people MUST defend ALL laws of the Legislature REGARDLESS of personal views. It is not in our constitution but its written into his duties by the legislature and thus binding.

  • the crustybastard


    You lie.

    Arizona Revised Statutes 12-1841 Parties; notice of claim of unconstitutionality
    (D) This section shall not be construed to compel the attorney general, the speaker of the house of representatives or the president of the senate to intervene as a party in any proceeding or to permit them to be named as defendants in a proceeding. The attorney general, the speaker of the house of representatives or the president of the senate, in the party’s discretion, may intervene as a party, may file briefs in the matter or may choose not to participate in a proceeding that is subject to the notice requirements of this section. [emphasis added]

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