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October 2019

Gordon & Rees Attorney Andrew Jacob Obtains Declaratory Judgment that Arizona Must Get Approval from Congress Before it Can Dip Further Into Trust Funds

Gordon & Rees attorney Andrew S. Jacob obtained a judgment in the District of Arizona declaring that Arizona must obtain the consent of Congress before it can change the formula for taking distributions from the School Trust Fund  that was established by the 1912 Statehood and Enabling Act (which created the state of Arizona). In 2016, plaintiff Michael Pierce filed a pro per action against the State and its officers after Arizona made changes to that distribution formula (known as Proposition 123) without obtaining such consent. At the request of the judge, Neil Wake, Jacob volunteered to take the matter on a pro bono basis.

After the issue was fully briefed and argued, the Governor of Arizona obtained consent to Proposition 123 from Congress. The very next day, the court issued a ruling that Proposition 123 was illegal without such consent. The Governor then argued that the action was moot and should be dismissed without judgment on the merits. Jacob argued for application of the voluntary cessation exception to mootness because the Governor continued to insist that Arizona did not need Congressional consent to make future changes.

On September 30, 2019 the court entered final judgment, adopting Jacob’s arguments and making the declaration noted above. The Governor immediately issued a press release improperly calling for the retirement of the judge, going so far as to call him senile!

The case, the Governor’s attack on the judge, and Jacob’s explanation of the issues were widely covered in the media.  Click to view the Order and selected articles:

Attorney Jacob has litigated in a wide range of eclectic subject matter at both the trial level and on appeal.

 

Andrew S. Jacob