The federal government and state governments across the country should be doing everything they can to ensure election integrity going forward. Over the past few years, the Arizona legislature has taken this to heart. But the Left has been fighting against every legitimate election reform that comes from conservatives. Not only are they filing lawsuits in court, but they’ve been deploying a new tactic that threatens the First Amendment.
Lawsuits Against Election Integrity Bills
In 2021, the Arizona legislature passed, and then-Governor Ducey signed into law SB 1485—a law designed to clean up Arizona’s early voter list. Then in 2022, state lawmakers followed that up with HB 2243 (to ensure regular voter list maintenance) and HB 2492 (to ensure that only U.S. citizens are voting in our elections).
These are commonsense laws that everyone should be able to get behind, but the Left gave up commonsense years ago. So, multiple groups including the Biden administration, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and a consortium of liberal organizations filed two separate lawsuits against these bills—one over SB 1485 and the other over HB 2243 and HB 2492. Both cases are currently in district court, and the good news is that no injunctions have been issued. That means all these laws remain in effect. But the Left isn’t satisfied with just filing lawsuits. Instead, they have deployed a new strategy to target conservative groups.
A Fishing Expedition to Harass the Club and Other Conservative Organizations
While the Free Enterprise Club is not a party to either lawsuit, we have now been served with two subpoenas (here and here) demanding that we hand over all documents, communications, legislative correspondence, and lobbying strategy. On top of that, they want information related to any election activity and expenditure information from the last six years. And they didn’t just stop with a subpoena to the Club. They also issued a subpoena to Club Vice President Aimee Yentes. It’s outrageous, but not completely surprising—the Left has been deploying this lawfare tactic around the country.
The last couple of years, liberal groups and the U.S. Department of Justice have started serving dragnet nonparty subpoenas on conservative organizations to see what private information, if any, they might be able to pry loose. In one circumstance, they went after a group in Alabama called Eagle Forum, a small nonprofit with only one full-time employee and one part-time employee. So why is the Left going after Eagle Forum? Because the group dared to exercise their constitutional rights to stop gender altering “medical treatment” to minors.
These attacks from the Left on conservative organizations and the First Amendment are out of control. That’s why the Club is fighting back. With the help of the Goldwater Institute, we have filed a motion to quash the first subpoena and will be doing the same with the others. The Left cannot be allowed to bully groups into surrendering personal information or strategy documents. And they certainly should not be allowed to attempt to trick a judge into enforcing their ridiculous subpoenas against private groups that are not even a party to the litigation. It’s a dangerous abuse of power, and if the Left is allowed to get away with it, it’s a direct threat to the future of the First Amendment.
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