Judge Rules Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Illegally Bypassed Senate Approval to Install Leftist Agency Heads

Gov. Katie Hobbs has been caught red-handed violating state law by appointing 13 agency heads without the Senate’s approval, according to a ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney. This move was an attempt to bypass the traditional cabinet approval process, which Hobbs described as a “political circus” orchestrated by the Republican-controlled Senate.

This ruling could ignite a new round of political gamesmanship as Hobbs tries to get her agency heads past the Senate’s scrutiny. It also raises questions about the future leadership of state agencies that manage critical programs like unemployment, housing assistance, and Medicaid.

Hobbs had withdrawn 13 unconfirmed cabinet nominees from Senate consideration last year, opting instead to name them “executive deputy directors” and instruct them to lead their respective agencies. This came after Senate President Warren Petersen established a special vetting committee, which dragged out the confirmation process and subjected some nominees to intense scrutiny.

Petersen sued Hobbs after she withdrew her nominees, and Judge Blaney ruled that Hobbs had improperly appointed de facto directors for these agencies, despite the job titles she assigned them. He noted that state law does not allow the governor to leave director positions vacant and requires nominees to go through the formal confirmation process.

However, the judge did not order Hobbs to submit her agency heads for confirmation, as the Senate had hoped. Instead, he will schedule a hearing later this summer to allow both sides to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

Senate GOP spokesperson Kim Quintero sees the ruling as an opportunity for the governor’s office to “do the right thing” and resume the standard vetting process. Meanwhile, Hobbs’ spokesperson Christian Slater believes the ruling is incorrect and plans to appeal it, while ensuring that state agencies can continue to perform their vital functions and serve Arizonans.

Article generated from corporate media reports.