Mathieu v. Mahoney

In Mathieu v. Mahoney, 174 Ariz. 456, 851 P.2d 81 (Ariz. 1993) the Arizona Supreme Court applied laches to a "last-minute challenge" to an initiative measure, that was brought less than two months prior to the general election. The court stated: At a minimum, the League could have filed its complaint when the Secretary certified the signatures on August 12, 1992, at which juncture the Proposition was certain to be placed on the ballot. Instead, it waited until September 15, 1992 to file its complaint, only days before the absentee ballots were to be printed for statewide absentee voting beginning October 1. Id. at 84. The court stated that "the ultimate prejudice in election cases is to the quality of decision making in questions of great public importance." Id. at 85. The court summed up this prejudice when it stated: Last-minute election challenges, which could have been avoided, prejudice not only defendants but the entire system. They deprive judges of the ability to fairly and reasonably process and consider the issues. They unreasonably telescope the process and rush appellate review, leaving little time for reflection and wise decision making. Id. at 86.