ARIZONA NEWS

Republican-controlled Arizona Senate argues for secrecy of 2020 election review records

Oct 7, 2021, 6:00 PM
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, speaks during a news conference after the Arizona ...

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott, speaks during a news conference after the Arizona Senate Republican hearing on the review of findings in the 2020 election results in Maricopa County at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Phoenix. The final report of the election review found that President Joe Biden did indeed win the 2020 presidential contest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — A lawyer for the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate told a judge Thursday that he would cause permanent damage to the legislative process if he requires lawmakers to release records about their private deliberations over the Senate GOP’s review of the 2020 election.

The Senate has released tens of thousands of public records but is withholding about 1,000 that lawmakers say are subject to legislative privilege. Forcing their disclosure will prevent lawmakers in the future from candidly discussing their positions as they work out the best policies for the state, Senate attorney Kory Langhofer argued.

“It will do lasting damage to the quality of discussion and argument behind closed doors in the Legislature,” Langhofer said. “That is definitely not in the state’s interest.”

Langhofer said there are about 1,000 documents the Senate considers privileged. He said they include discussions of whether the review is a good idea and whether it should be stopped or expanded.

Maricopa County Superior Court judge Michael Kemp said he’d rule “within the next few business days.” He’s overseeing one of two public records lawsuits filed over the Senate’s unprecedented partisan election review, which was led by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based cybersecurity consulting firm.

Legislative privilege doesn’t apply to the records because they are not tied to debate over specific legislation or legislative functions, said Keith Beauchamp, a lawyer for American Oversight, a government watchdog group that filed the lawsuit. He said the Senate hasn’t proven that disclosing the records would impair the deliberative process.

“There is no business before the Senate and there has been no business during the period when these documents were created,” Beauchamp said.

Langhofer argues that the review will inform the Senate’s future election legislation.

Similar issues are at stake in another suit brought by the parent company of The Arizona Republic. Kemp is also considering a request by Langhofer to merge the cases, which American Oversight and the Arizona Republic both oppose.

The hearing came the same day that Maricopa County officials testified at a hearing of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee focused on the Senate’s election review.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee speaks during the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on...
KTAR.com

Republican Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee withdraws from governor’s race

Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Saturday she will be withdrawing from the Republican primary for governor.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

18-month-old girl in critical condition after drowning incident in Paradise Valley

An 18-month-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after a drowning incident in Paradise Valley Saturday morning, authorities said. 
19 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix police arrest wanted man involved in multistate manhunt

A man wanted for shooting a New Mexico police officer and fleeing a Colorado jail was arrested early Friday morning in Phoenix, police said.
19 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man arrested for allegedly shooting teen fast-food worker in Phoenix

A man was arrested Friday evening for allegedly shooting a 16-year-old fast-food restaurant worker in the head after an altercation in Phoenix on Thursday night, authorities said. 
19 hours ago
FILE - Martin Luther King III speaks during a rally for voting rights, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, on ...
Associated Press

King family rally in Arizona for voting bills for MLK Day

PHOENIX (AP) — As the nation prepares to mark the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some members of his family are spending it in conservative-leaning Arizona to mobilize support for languishing federal voting rights legislation. Martin Luther King III; his wife, Arndrea Waters King; and their daughter Yolanda Renee King, 13, took […]
19 hours ago
(City of Glendale Photo)...
KTAR.com

New 4-acre lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale now open

Grab those fishing poles as the new lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale opened on Thursday, the city announced.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford offers cars and deals for all this holiday season

Sanderson Ford’s No! Vember Black Friday sale is giving an opportunity to purchase a new 2021 vehicle just in time for the holiday season.
(Facebook Photo/NHTSA)...
Sweet James

Upcoming holiday season is peak time for DUI arrests

The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most dangerous time of the year to be driving. That’s why it’s important to remember to call Sweet James Accident Attorneys if you’re injured or arrested because of a DUI accident.
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Republican-controlled Arizona Senate argues for secrecy of 2020 election review records