Arizona: Proposed constitutional amendment restricts Supreme Court’s rulemaking power, allow legislative control

A constitutional amendment filed in the Arizona House would restrict the rulemaking authority of that state’s supreme court.

Currently the state’s constitution gives the supreme court the

Power to make rules relative to all procedural matters in any court

HCR 2006 as filed would amend this to read

Power to make rules relative to all procedural and evidentiary matters in any court, subject to amendment or repeal by the legislature or the people by initiative or referendum.
Additionally, HCR 2006 would add language to the constitution that seems to target the supreme court.

The supreme court may not infringe on the authority of the legislature or the people to enact otherwise constitutional substantive, procedural and evidentiary laws or to carry out any other matter under the constitution. The authority to enact substantive, procedural and evidentiary laws is not a power inherent in the judiciary but is a legislative power inherent in the legislature and the people.

HCR 2006 is not yet assigned to a committee.

Iowa: Bill to require supermajority of state Supreme Court (5/7) to declare laws unconstitutional advances

A plan discussed here to require the Iowa Supreme Court have a 5/7 supermajority to declare laws unconstitutional cleared a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday.

News reports quote the lead author of SF 2153 as claiming the proposal is not targeting the current court but that “It’s just too much power to give to four judges to make fundamental changes in our law.”

As noted before, there are two states with similar supermajority requirements (Nebraska and North Dakota) but those are due to constitutional provisions, not statutes.

SF 2153 now goes to the full Senate Judiciary Committee.