In most states, there are limits to executive authority that allow the legislature to participate in emergency orders and mandates. It’s common for governors to be able to declare emergencies and issue executive orders without approval, but prolonging them for longer than a month usually requires extensions approved by the state legislature. Arizona is a state that has no such restrictions and many Republicans both local and national are calling on Governor Doug Ducey to call a special session to address the issue.
Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar voiced support for a letter sent yesterday by Arizona State Representative Kelly Townsend. In the press release, she calls on the Governor to allow the legislature to restrict the powers of his office so they, the direct representatives of the people, have input about the draconian lockdown orders spreading again across their state.
“While I appreciate the Governor’s attempt to address the COVID-19 crisis on a day to day basis, addressing the needs of the state while trying to preserve livelihoods and personal freedoms, his state of emergency declaration has removed all other sources of input, outside of his consultation with his own attorneys. This has disrupted our critical balance of power and has authorized him to govern this state as a monarch, rather than an executive of a three-branch government,” stated Townsend.
“As the crisis worsens, I believe that calling a special session of the Legislature where 90 other individuals who are the voice of the people of this State can offer input and guidance, is now beyond prudent. I realize that past Legislators gave him this authority to act alone in a crisis, however that language was passed shortly after 9/11 when fears of biological warfare were cresting,” explained Townsend. “I believe the entire state now realizes that this is not a good idea, and that the people in each district want their voice to be heard and desire the representative government that they were promised.”
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— Rep. Kelly Townsend (@KellyTownsend11) June 30, 2020
Ducey, a fellow Republican, has been taking heat from both sides over his handling of the coronavirus. It would behoove him to heed the advice of Townsend as it would alleviate some of the pressure he’s currently facing. The powers vested in Arizona’s Governor’s office are vast and most Republicans who have chimed in believe even in the hands of their fellow partisan, those powers need to be reined in.
Governor Ducey did not create the situation that gives his office so much power, but he has an opportunity to help correct the issue now. Kelly Townsend’s request is both practical and timely. The Arizona monarchy must end.
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