Sat, Feb. 22

Editorial: Legal challenges to voter measures should come before the fact, not after

With all the hoops one must jump through to get an initiative or referendum on the state ballot, you would think part of that process would be to determine if indeed the measure is even legal or not.

But here we are again just six weeks removed from the Nov. 8 general election and the minimum wage measure approved by voters is facing a legal challenge in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Proposition 206 requires employers to pay their workers at least $10 an hour beginning Jan. 1, eventually reaching $12 by 2020. Voter approval of Prop. 206 should be the last word on the issue.

It was a clear-cut, easy-to-understand measure going into the election, and any challenges to the legality of the proposition should have been made before the fact, not after. The very fact that this measure, or any other initiative or referendum, made it to the ballot should be the only measuring stick of its legality.

And that’s exactly what the judge assigned to hear this sour grapes challenge to this new law should tell the plaintiffs. If there were legal problems with the measure, they should have been raised before the issue even went before the voters.

Gov. Doug Ducey is only partially right on his response to this legal challenge of Prop. 206.

“I’ve asked all my agencies to follow the law … The people have spoken.”

The governor should have left it at that, instead of adding that he will now let the courts determine the legality of Prop. 206.

Such legal challenges should come before the fact, not after voters have decided the issue.

If any measure makes it to the ballot, that should be all the assurance we need to know that what we are voting on is indeed legal.

And once the voters have spoken, that should be the end of it.

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