Governor Ducey Signs Executive Order: No One Is Above The Law

News Release

July 20, 2018

PHOENIXGovernor Doug Ducey today signed an executive order that makes it clear: no one is above the law, and certainly not elected officials.

In light of recent cases, the executive order clarifies that law enforcement officers employed by the State of Arizona have the constitutional and legal authority to hold elected officials accountable when they endanger public safety with criminal violations, including speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence. The executive order clarifies that the Constitution limits the application of so-called “legislative immunity” to circumstances during the legislative session and the 15 days immediately prior to the start of legislative session.

“No one is above the law, and certainly not politicians. Everyone should know that, but clearly a reminder is needed,” said Governor Ducey. “Public safety must come first, and we have a responsibility to ensure that our officers are supported in enforcing the law, and have the tools, under the Constitution, to hold all bad actors accountable. This executive order will provide Arizona’s officers with the support and trust they need to exercise their professional judgment and expertise without regard for an individual’s political stature.”

Specifically, the executive order instructs:

1.     Peace officers employed by the State of Arizona, including those at the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation and any other agency of the State that may be in a position to enforce criminal traffic violations, shall consider any criminal violation that endangers the safety of another including but not limited to, criminal speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence, as a “breach of the peace” under Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution. It is clear in some recent cases that the peace has been breached, and we have a responsibility to enforce the law in these cases.

2.     Peace officers employed by the State of Arizona shall strictly limit application of Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution, to circumstances where immunity applies during the legislative session and the 15 days immediately prior to the start of the session.

3.     All agencies managing Arizona Peace Officers and Standards Training Board (AZPOST) certified peace officers are encouraged to adopt this policy as it relates to Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution.

A PDF of executive order can be viewed here.

Text of the executive order can be viewed below.

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Executive Order 2018-05
Executive Policy on Legislative Immunity 

Whereas, the State of Arizona continues to be plagued with fatality rates on its highways;

Whereas, fatality rates are most often attributable to driver behavior;

Whereas, speed limits are set for the purpose of public safety;

Whereas, preserving the peace and protecting public safety is one of the most important duties of government;

Whereas, no one is above the law, including those of us with the privilege of serving in elected office;

Whereas, peace officers must not be pressured by those serving in elected office to look the other way when a violation of criminal law endangers the safety of another;

Whereas, peace officers must have support from those serving in elected office to exercise their professional judgment and expertise without regard for an individual’s political stature;

Whereas, politicians are required to abide by the laws that have been adopted by their citizenry and those enacted by legislative and executive action;

Whereas, the Governor must take care to ensure that the laws of the State are faithfully executed;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, do hereby direct the following:

1.     Peace officers employed by the State of Arizona, including those at the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation and any other agency of the State that may be in a position to enforce criminal traffic violations, shall consider any criminal violation that endangers the safety of another including but not limited to, criminal speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence, as a “breach of the peace” under Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution. It is clear in some recent cases that the peace has been breached, and we have a responsibility to enforce the law in these cases.

2.     Peace officers employed by the State of Arizona shall strictly limit application of Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution, to circumstances where immunity applies during the legislative session and the 15 days immediately prior to the start of the session.

3.     All agencies managing Arizona Peace Officers and Standards Training Board (AZPOST) certified peace officers are encouraged to adopt this policy as it relates to Title 4, Section 6, Part 2 of the Arizona Constitution.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona

                                                                                   G O V E R N O R

DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this 20th day of July in the Year Two Thousand Eighteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-Third.

ATTEST:       

    Secretary of State

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