An effort is now underway in Arizona to strip the state’s supreme court of the rule making powers it has held since 1960. In that year the state adopted the “Modern Courts Amendment” which included a provision that
The supreme court shall have…Power to make rules relative to all procedural matters in any court. (Art. 6, Sec. 5)
Under SCR 1002 of 2015 that power would be “subject to amendment by the legislature by joint resolution or by the people by initiative or referendum.”
The move is almost identical to a proposal in 2002 (SCR 1005) that would have limited rules of procedure adopted by the supreme court only to those “that are not inconsistent with statute.” It died in committee.
The Arizona effort is just the latest in a series of attempts (discussed in a series of posts here last July) by state legislators to curtail or outright take over the constitutional powers of the state supreme courts to set rules of practice and procedure.
UPDATE: To help readers, the July 2014 posts are
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico-South Carolina
- South Dakota-Wyoming
SCR 1002 of 2015 has been introduced but not yet assigned to a committee.