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Evidentiary Hearing In 'Clean Energy' Case

Published: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 6:44pm
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Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley ruled Thursday that the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona initiative must adhere to strict compliance for ballot measures.

Attorneys in the case went before the judge again Friday for an evidentiary hearing.

Plaintiff’s attorney Brett Johnson took issue with the definition of clean energy as not including nuclear, whether fields on the petition form were properly filled out and the very title and summary of the initiative.

“When those petition signers walked up to the table and they signed this, they had absolutely no idea from reviewing the title, the summary or the text that there was going to be unequal treatment in the state of Arizona as to the application of energy," he argued. "And that is a fundamental issue under strict compliance.”

But defense attorney Jim Barton pushed back on those assertions and said the initiative effectively communicates its aims.

“This absolutely lists the principles of the measure," he said. "It doesn’t have to be impartial by the way. I think that’s important, too. So for this to be deficient, the court would have to say, ‘not saying what is not covered, is so defective that you didn’t effectively list the principal provisions of the measure.’”

The case moves to trial on Monday and is expected to wind up in the Arizona Supreme Court.