Arizona Politicos React To Hobbs’ Abortion Executive Order

Arizona Politicos React To Hobbs’ Abortion Executive Order

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s reliably pro-life status is getting whiplash this week thanks to its Democrat Governor’s efforts to legislate by an executive order.

Last week, as the nation prepared for the anniversary of the landmark opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs worked to remake the state’s pro-life reputation and to reclaim her standing within the Arizona Democrat Party as a devoted champion of its platform.

First, Governor Hobbs held a Thursday press conference to announce her support for future passage of the Arizona Right to Contraception Act. The governor tweeted, “Reproductive freedoms are under threat. That’s why I was proud to join Rep. Athena Salman to announce my support for the Arizona Right to Contraception Act, which will ensure all Arizonans have the right to access birth control. I will never back down in the fight to protect our freedoms.”

Representative Salman was thrilled with the governor’s endorsement of her legislation, writing, “Thank you Governor Hobbs for your leadership in protecting our reproductive rights and freedom. Birth control is a human right with overwhelming public support. The Arizona Right to Contraception Act will enshrine this right into law for every family in our state.”

This bill is likely to languish in the Republican-led Legislature next session – as was indicated by the Speaker Pro Tempore for the Arizona House of Representatives, Travis Grantham, who tweeted, “Dead on Arrival.”

Hobbs saved her most noteworthy action for the end of the week, though, signing an executive order that would “centralize all abortion-related prosecutions under the Attorney General to ensure differences in application of the law by county attorneys do not restrict access to legal abortions.”

Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes cheered on this move by the governor, tweeting, “Together, Governor Hobbs and I will continue to do what the voters of Arizona elected us to do – fight like hell to protect the rights of Arizonans to make their own private medical decisions without interference.”

The governor’s order also “directed state agencies to not assist in any investigations relating to providing, assisting, seeking or obtaining reproductive health care that would be legal in Arizona; and established the Governor’s Advisory Council on Protecting Reproductive Freedom to make recommendations that expand access to reproductive healthcare in Arizona.” She also highlighted that “Arizona will decline extradition requests from other states seeking to prosecute individuals who provide, assist, seek or receive abortion services legal in Arizona.”

Republicans were quick to assail Hobbs’ order and highlight the potentially tenuous nature of this action. Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma told AZ Free News that “We are thoroughly reviewing the executive order to determine its legality. At a minimum, this order shows disrespect and contempt for the judiciary. Arizona’s abortion laws are still in litigation in light of the Supreme Court’s historic Dobbs ruling. The Governor cannot unilaterally divert statutory authority to prosecute criminal cases from Arizona’s 15 county attorneys to the Attorney General.”

Senate President Warren Petersen also weighed in on the governor’s order, telling AZ Free News: “Instead of focusing on pressing issues everyday Arizonans are struggling with, like inflation and the economy, Hobbs is setting a dangerous precedent by pulling a PR stunt to appeal to special interest groups and attempting to usurp law enforcement. In the end, this is another do-nothing executive order meant to pander to her liberal base and create unnecessary division on polarizing topics.”

Senator Jake Hoffman told AZ Free News that “This partisan PR stunt by Katie Hobbs is a gross, unconstitutional overreach intended to do nothing more than pander to her far-Left extremist base, and distract from her pathetic track record of failure, chaos, and instability. From getting rolled on the budget to historically high turnover of her senior staff, Hobbs continues to demonstrate how politically and intellectually weak she is with these halfcocked schemes that will never hold up in court.”

Freshman Republican Representative Cory McGarr tweeted, “The sitting governor does not have the authority to make law! Lawless tyrants and authoritarians abuse their power and abuse the people by stripping away their representation through the legislature. This can not stand.”

Former Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh, who is still engaged in litigation over his historic, razor-thin defeat to Mayes last November, also condemned the governor’s order, saying, “Lawless government. The legislature makes laws, not the executive branch unilaterally.”

In a press release, Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy, pointed out that state law likely does not bestow the power that the governor took upon herself in this executive order. Herrod stated, “Arizona law, A.R.S. 41-101, Section 8 states that the governor ‘may require the attorney general to aid a county attorney in the discharge of his duties.’ Aid does not mean supplant or replace. In her zeal for abortion, Gov. Hobbs has exceeded her authority as governor. The law does not allow her to strip county attorneys of their clear enforcement authority as granted in various Arizona laws. On the anniversary of Dobbs, the better approach would be for Gov. Hobbs to fulfill her pledge to serve all Arizonans, starting with coming together to find ways to serve the needs of pregnant women.”

These actions from Hobbs may signal an abrupt end to Arizona’s standing as one of the most pro-life states in the nation, leaving behind a strong body of work from the state’s past two governors and attorneys general. After the Dobbs decision last year, then-Governor Doug Ducey posted, “I am proud that Arizona has been ranked the most pro-life state in the country. Here, we will continue to cherish life and protect it in every way possible.”

Former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich was a staunch defender of life during his two terms in office. Most notably, Brnovich took his defense of SB 1457, which prohibited discriminatory abortions based on genetic abnormalities, to the U.S. Supreme Court. After the high court granted the Attorney General’s request to allow this law to go into effect in June 2022, Brnovich stated, “I am pleased with today’s ruling and proud to defend Arizona’s law that protects the unborn.”

Earlier this year, Republican leaders at the Arizona Legislature celebrated their “successful intervention(s) in cases to defend state laws and fight against federal overreach.” One of those cases was the SB 1457 (or Isaacson) litigation, where “a federal court granted Speaker Toma’s and President Petersen’s motion to intervene to defend a law that prohibits abortions based solely on a child’s genetic abnormality after Arizona Attorney General Mayes stated she would not defend the law.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Hobbs Expected To Veto Bill That Prevents Discrimination Based On “Social Score”

Hobbs Expected To Veto Bill That Prevents Discrimination Based On “Social Score”

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona Republicans continue to take action to protect the financial interests and futures of their constituents – even though these current efforts face an uncertain fate with Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ veto stamp looming and already very active this legislative session.

Representative Steve Montenegro introduced HB 2472, which deals with a prohibition on the use of social credits. According to the overview provided by the Arizona House, this bill “asserts that the State may not require a bank to use a social credit score in determining whether to lend money.”

HB 2472 passed both the House Commerce and Rules Committees with 6-4 and 8-0 votes, respectively. This week, Montenegro’s bill made it to the floor of the Arizona House for an up-or-down vote. It passed 31-28, with one Democrat not voting.

In explaining her vote against this bill on the floor, Democrat Representative Athena Salman talked about the importance of financial institutions achieving and advancing the goal of gender equity.

One House Republican, Representative John Gillette, strongly disagreed with Salman’s viewpoint, tweeting, “We support equal opportunity, not equal outcome.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona supported this bill throughout its House journey, stating, “The terms of a loan should be negotiated by a bank and the customer with minimal government interference. Once government colludes with banks to impose social credit scores, people will begin to lose their individual rights and the economy with suffer. Government will naturally use social credit scores to control people’s behavior, in the interest of government, not the individual. Private businesses will lose profits as they make business decisions not on market demands, but on deeply flawed ESG standards. We must reject government imposed social credit scores and ESG, and instead support free market policies. Only in a free market can we truly have freedom and prosperity.”

ESG (Environmental, social, and corporate governance) has been given heightened visibility in recent years as many Republicans around the country have identified this as a threat to their constituents’ financial futures and security. One of the leaders in this arena is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has made the fight against ESG one of the priorities of his administration. Prior to 2023, Arizona had two statewide officials, who were extremely active in fighting back against the ESG movement with former Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Treasurer Kimberly Yee.

However, the transition of power in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office halted Brnovich’s investigative efforts into this movement. Kris Mayes, Arizona’s new top prosecutor, stopped an ongoing investigation from her predecessor, saying, “corporations increasingly realize that investing in sustainability is both good for our country, our environment, and public health and good for their bottom lines. The state of Arizona is not going to stand in the way of corporations’ efforts to move in the right direction.”

But State Treasurer Kimberly Yee continues to be an active opponent of ESG. Her office took several positions and actions against ESG during her first term, including revising the Arizona State Treasurer’s Office Investment Policy Statement to ensure that the Office “investments are not subject to the subjective political whims of the ESG standards.” Yee stated, “This is about maintaining American free-market principles that our country was founded upon and not allowing environmental or social goals to dictate how taxpayer monies are managed.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

Senator Shope Requesting Ethics Investigation on Senator Mendez for Months-Long Absence From Legislature

Senator Shope Requesting Ethics Investigation on Senator Mendez for Months-Long Absence From Legislature

By Corinne Murdock |

State Senator T.J. Shope (R-Coolidge) announced on Monday that he was filing an ethics complaint against Senator Juan Mendez (D-Tempe) for being absent for almost the entirety of this legislative session. Shope accused Mendez of abandoning his duties in the senate.

“I have informed the chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics that I will be filing an ethics complaint against the member from district 26 for essentially abandoning his position here in this body. I will be doing so over the next few days,” said Shope.

Shope made his announcement during a vote on whether to expel State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) from the Senate. That measure failed along party lines.

Both Mendez and his wife, State Representative Athena Salman (D-Tempe), have stayed away from the State Capitol almost entirely, save for Mendez’s visit in February and Salman’s visit in April. They’ve done so with the blessing of Republican House and Senate leadership, who furnished them with excused absences for the last five months. 

House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) explained to The Arizona Republic that he gave Salman excused absences because he was “just trying to be nice.” Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) explained that Mendez had a doctor’s note recommending against the legislator’s return to in-person work. 

The couple cited concerns about exposing their daughter to COVID-19, who was born in January. Salman requested to work remotely like the legislature had allowed during the last legislative session, but her request was denied.

Mendez and Salman argued to The Arizona Republic that they haven’t absconded from their responsibilities completely. Though they’re barred from voting remotely, the couple reported that they speak with the press and their constituents regularly as well as engage in the legislature by watching it virtually. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Dem Bill Would Require All Guns In Home To Be Locked Unless Carried Or Within Reach

Dem Bill Would Require All Guns In Home To Be Locked Unless Carried Or Within Reach

Six Arizona Democrats have introduced a bill that would amend the state’s criminal statutes by imposing a minimum $1,000 civil penalty on lawful gunowners who do not lock up their gun, carry the firearm on their body, or have it within “such close proximity” that it can be readily retrieved as if on one’s person while inside their home.

HB2582 would create Arizona Revised Statute 13-3123, entitled Misconduct Involving Storage of Firearms or Ammunition. It calls for a civil fine of at least $1,000 for each violation by a person in a residence they control for not having a firearm “in a securely locked box” or equipped with “a device that renders the firearm inoperable without a key or combination.”

The only exception would be if the person carries the firearm on his or her person inside the residence or has the gun “within such close proximity to his person that the person can readily retrieve and use the firearm as if it was carried on his person.”

The same lock it up, disable it, carry it, or have it readily retrievable mandate would apply to all sizes of firearms, including hunting rifles. It also applies to all ammunition, according to the bill sponsored by House Assistant Minority Leader Jennifer Longdon, along with Reps. Randall Friese, Daniel Hernandez Jr., Diego Rodriguez, Athena Salman, and Lorenzo Sierra.

There is no exemption in HB2582 for homes without children, for home-based businesses, or other situations where there would be no undue risk to others from placing one’s loaded but unlocked firearm in one room of a residence while the person is in another room.

The sponsors apparently do not consider it misconduct under their bill to have one’s gun unlocked in a garage or on a deck. The bill also does not address guests who bring an unlocked firearm or ammunition into someone else’s residence.

In 2016, it was estimated that Arizonans own nearly 6.9 million guns. That estimate is believed to have hit 7 million in 2020 based on gun industry sale reports.