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Arizona Supreme Court delays order for Senate to turn over audit records

By Ben Giles
Associated Press
Published: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 1:50pm

The Arizona Supreme Court may hear an appeal by state Senate Republicans, who’ve spent months arguing they don’t have to disclose hundreds of records related to their partisan review of the 2020 election in Maricopa County.

Last week the court issued a temporary stay of an appeals court ruling, which earlier in January had upheld a lower court order for the Senate to turn over records, either to American Oversight, a government watchdog group suing for the records, or a judge.

The appeals court panel unanimously rejected arguments from the Senate’s attorneys, who claimed broad legislative privilege meant they were immune from public records laws.

The judges found instead that legislative privilege only applies to discussions related to the process of passing legislation.

The Senate’s appeal to the Supreme Court means they won’t have to turn over records until at least mid-February. The Supreme Court is scheduled to consider whether or not to hear the Senate’s appeal on Feb. 15.