The decade's most triggering comedy
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said she would not enforce the state’s abortion laws.
In a recent interview with Capitol Media Services, the Democrat said she would not prosecute doctors for violating any of the state’s abortion laws, including the 15-week abortion ban.
“I have been clear that we are not going to prosecute doctors and women in the state of Arizona for abortion, period,” Mayes said. “[Abortion] is not a place for government intervention … prosecutorial resources should not be spent on trying to put doctors in jail.’’
Mayes’ announcement comes after Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs issued an executive order on June 23 that centralized the power to enforce abortion laws in the hands of Attorney General Mayes, stripping county prosecutors of that ability.
“The Attorney General shall assume all duties with regard to any criminal prosecution of a medical provider … for violation of any State law restricting or prohibiting abortion care … without limitation,” Hobbs’ executive order says.
Mayes, who took office alongside Hobbs in January, justified the move, telling The Daily Beast, “This is an extraordinary situation. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a right we had for 50 years. Arizonans elected a Democratic governor and AG who are pro-choice, and elections have consequences. Some Republicans are unhappy about it, but this is a consequence of Dobbs.”
The lead prosecutor for Maricopa County, Rachel Mitchell, said that she and other county attorneys are looking at possible litigation over the centralization of prosecuting power.
“Our current governor took an entire category of potential offenses,” Mitchell said, “and is attempting to prevent locally elected county attorneys from reviewing and making charging decisions in those matters.”
The Phoenix-area Republican warned of a new precedent Hobbs and Mayes might set.
“What happens when another person occupies the governor’s seat and attempts this kind of power grab?” she asked. “What other set of offenses might a governor in the future not like and remove from local prosecutors?”
Mayes brushed aside the question, saying the move should be seen only in the context of abortion laws, according to the Eastern Arizona Courier.
Republicans, who hold a majority in the state legislature, also condemned Hobbs and Mayes’ actions and canceled all plans to consider Hobbs’ nominees.
“You hold the office of Governor in Arizona, not of monarch,” GOP state senators wrote in a letter to Hobbs, calling the executive order a “blatant disregard for separation of powers.”