Rep. Townsend's office phone number is (602) 926-4467. Tell her staff you read it on the "Michael's Law" blog.
18402 N. 19th Ave., #109
Phoenix, AZ 85023
February 11, 2014
Representative Kelly Townsend
1700 W. Washington, Room 342
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Greetings Rep. Townsend:
Could I please schedule 30 minutes with your staff to discuss possible remedies to reign in the Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court in their doubly unconstitutional gun grab? The Justices have acted as Legislators, usurping your authority, by effectively rewriting a statute you all gave us.
But first, some housekeeping. I realize I'm not in your District. But then, neither is Jennifer Jones of Quartzsite. Still, Jade told me that you spoke with her, asking how you can prevent what happened in Quartzsite from happening to others. Similarly, even though it was Mr. Roth of Quartzsite who made national news when a judge there unlawfully revoked his Second Amendment right (simply because he called his councilman a "turd"), this is a statewide matter requiring your attention. What happened to Mr. Roth can happen — and already has happened — to others.
Specifically, the Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court have told judges throughout Arizona that they can revoke our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms (as well as our Arizona Constitutional right to defend ourselves and families) via a mere civil injunction against harassment (IAH). They promulgate this lie via Rule 6(E)(4)(e)(2) of the Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure (ARPOP). Even a Phoenix police officer almost lost his job over this! (No gun = no job. It took an appeal. So the police unions know about it and could be your friends here.)
The Justices overstepped their bounds when they effectively made substantive law via ARPOP Rule 6(E)(4)(e)(2). Interestingly, they don't cite any statutory authority for their errant rule, as they do for all their others. That's because there is no authority. They made it up!
By doing so, the Justices have not only unconstitutionally revoked a constitutional right, they have also acted unconstitutionally to do it. (Hence, they acted doubly unconstitutionally.)
Specifically, when they rewrote your law to their liking, the Justices violated Article III of the Arizona Constitution (Distribution of Powers). In fact, they are intentionally taking language from our criminal Domestic Violence statute and adding it to their Rules of Procedure for civil injunctions. (I can show that they have been incrementally implementing language from the anti-gun Brady Campaign. They get grant money from the feds under VAMA as reward.)
In addition to a patent Article III violation, the Justices also violated A.R.S. § 12-109 when they made a rule of procedure that "abridges, enlarges or modifies substantive rights of a litigant." And they are violating their own case law that says same. (Marsin v. Udall , 78 Ariz. 309, 312, 279 P.2d 721 (Ariz: Supreme Court 1955)) Three strikes. They should be OUT!
That's because you, the Legislature, never provided for revoking our Second (or Fourth) Amendment rights via a civil injunction. (Seizing our weapons.) Indeed, the words "firearm" or "weapon" are not in the statue you gave us regarding civil injunctions against harassment. (See A.R.S. § 12-1809.)
Nor could you revoke our Second Amendment right via a civil action. Just from a common-sense view, that would makes us criminals (felons, who can't own guns) via a civil action!
Nevertheless, the Justices have liberally interpreted a phrase in § 12-1809, "grant relief necessary" to allow the revocation of a constitutional right.
But the Justices know that "relief necessary" does not allow them to force people to apologize to a "victim" in a civil IAH. That would be a violation of the 5th Amendment. They know they can't jail someone or put a GPS bracelet on them in a civil injunction. That would be a violation of the 4th Amendment. They know they can't quarter a police officer in someone's house to make sure they don't text. That would be a violation of the 3rd Amendment. And, as to the 1st Amendment, ironically, even the Arizona Court of Appeals recognizes that the government cannot revoke a constitutional right via a civil action. Over and over again they have ruled that civil injunctions against harassment are legal because they do NOT violate the First Amendment. (Carefully parsing that IAH's restrict "conduct," not speech.)
The 2nd Amendment is no less a right. This is political. The Justices are acting as liberal activist judges, promulgating their personal policy preferences. (Against guns.)
And even though the COA has similarly acknowledged that civil injunction law does not authorize revoking the Second Amendment, the Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court have "authorized" it anyway in ARPOP Rule 6(E)(4)(e)(2).
Mr. Roth and I have fought this issue in the Justices's public forum for more than two years now, with no success. The Justices are willfully being bad. We need you to act.
In order of decreasing sensationalism:
Legislators should not be afraid of Judges. You have a constitutional responsibility to reign them in. They do not hesitate to reign you in. You should not hesitate to reign them in either.
- I ask that you bring impeachment proceedings against all five Justices of our Arizona Supreme Court. I have an email from the Court's Chief Attorney stating they all acted to pass Rule 6(E)(4)(e)(2). Mr. Roth and I have put them on notice through their public forum and through a federal lawsuit that they are acting doubly unconstitutionally. They have acted knowingly, with malice aforethought. (Perhaps former Senate President Pearce has some insight here?))
- Since that ain't gonna happen, I ask that you ask our Attorney General to sue the Justices in federal court on behalf of the Legislator. (Remember, the AG's responsibility per statute is only to the Executive and Legislative branches.) The Justices violated our state constitution when they made law. And they're violating A.R.S. § 12-109. You can't sue them in their own court, where they'd be judging themselves. You need to go federal. As the Legislative branch, you have the authority to challenge the Judicial branch in Check & Balance fashion. And to bring legal charges against the Judicial when necessary.
- Since that probably ain't gonna happen either, I ask that you formally ask the Attorney General for his opinion as to whether the Justices can make substantive law and/or are violating A.R.S. § 12-109. I believe you have the authority to do this as a Legislator, per A.R.S. § 41-193(7), which provides that the Attorney General shall "Upon demand by the legislature, or either house or any member thereof , . . . render a written opinion upon any question of law relating to their offices."
- Last, as a minimum, I ask that you put back language into A.R.S. § 12-1809 that used to be there years ago, and is still in Section K(2) of its sister law, A.R.S. § 12-1810. Namely, that a civil injunction cannot revoke a constitutionally protected right. (Or even more plainly, put in language that "relief necessary does not include deprivation of the Second Amendment or any other constitutionally protected right.")
So please, may I have an audience with your staff to discuss how best to rectify this doubly unconstitutional act by our "Justices"?