A Superior Court judge on Friday rejected a challenge filed by Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce’s attorney, and ruled that the recall of Pearce could proceed. Pearce’s attorney had argued that many of the signatures collected were invalid and that signature collectors may have misled signers.
Pearce’s attorney vowed to appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Citizens for a Better Arizona filed the petition with Arizona’s Secretary of State in June, citing the immigration law, Pearce’s occasional forays into birtherism, and his opposition to the 14th Amendment, among other things, as reasons for the recall.
The election is scheduled for November 8.
“Obviously, I’m pleased,” said Thomas Ryan of Chandler, Arizona, a lawyer who represented the petition-drive organizers Citizens for a Better Arizona. “It’s a big victory for the 10,000-plus people who signed that recall petition to get rid of their senator.”
Pearce was the author and sponsor of SB 1073, the granddaddy of state immigration bills. Former Colorado congressman, presidential candidate and recent gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo has been active raising funds for Pearce’s campaign against the recall.
Colorado Republican legislators last year planned to introduce similar legislation only to back down in the face of such facts as a split legislator, an unsympathetic governor and a budget without a lot of excess for legal fights.