Saturday, April 23, 2016

Why Arizona Republican legislators should be treated as criminals

These GOP lawmakers pass laws governing the behavior of the state, its counties, its cities, and its citizens. (Remember the plastic bag laws, the laws about female reproductive decisions?) Those laws become our laws in the sense that you and I and our communities may be charged as criminals, and punished, if the laws are disobeyed. But what law governs the lawmakers? Especially if you are a conservative, or a textualist, you must answer "the constitution". Here is part of that document.

From Article XI of the Arizona state constitution:
Section 10. The revenue for the maintenance of the respective state educational institutions shall be derived from the investment of the proceeds of the sale, and from the rental of such lands as have been set aside by the enabling act approved June 20, 1910, or other legislative enactment of the United States, for the use and benefit of the respective state educational institutions. In addition to such income the legislature shall make such appropriations, to be met by taxation, as shall insure the proper maintenance of all state educational institutions, and shall make such special appropriations as shall provide for their development and improvement.

I submit the GOP legislators, have not used taxation to provide for the "proper maintenance" of Arizona's educational institutions. Having willfully ignored the constitution and, with intent, having evaded doing their duty, these "lawmakers" are actually law breakers. They should be subpoenaed, charged, indicted, tried, convicted, and sentenced just as would be violators of other laws that these lawbreakers themselves pass.

Treating these lawbreakers as common criminals is too much to hope for. But they can be held accountable at the ballot box. Vote on May 17th. Vote on November 8th. Let's throw these arrogant lawbreakers out and vote in people who will obey the constitution and start doing right by our educational institutions.

h/t Linda Valdez at The Republic/azcentral.com.

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