- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on a legal challenge to a new Arizona law making it easier to block citizen initiatives (all times local):

3 p.m.

An attorney for a group of advocates challenging a new law making it easier to keep citizens initiatives off the ballot told a judge it violates the state Constitution.

Attorney Roopali Desai says the Legislature’s effort to tighten the legal standard overturned decades of state Supreme Court precedent that says citizen-proposed laws should be reviewed by courts under a looser standard.

The Legislature’s attorney says the advocates haven’t been harmed and have no right to sue. David Cantelme also told the judge hearing the case that the Legislature has the authority to write laws ensuring the “purity of elections” even if it overturns a court ruling.

The two-day hearing that began Wednesday comes in a challenge to one of two laws targeting initiatives signed into law this year by GOP Gov. Doug Ducey.

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2 a.m.

Advocates for Arizona’s initiative process hope to persuade a judge to block a new law making it easier to keep laws proposed by citizens from going to the ballot.

The two-day hearing that starts Wednesday comes in a challenge to one of two laws targeting initiatives pushed through the Legislature this year by Republicans and signed into law by GOP Gov. Doug Ducey.

The challenged law extends a “strict compliance” standard to initiatives, a move that would make it easier to keep laws proposed by citizens from going to the ballot. A group of voters and advocacy argue the Legislature went too far and the law illegally contradicts courts’ interpretation of state Constitution.

Lawyers representing the Arizona Legislature say the groups can’t prove they’ve been harmed by the law

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