The ACLU of Arizona is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the civil rights and liberties of all Arizonans. With thousands of members and supporters in Arizona and more than 1.8 million supporters nationwide, we advance this mission through litigation, advocacy, and education.
The ACLU of Arizona works year-round to support legislation that expands or protects our civil liberties and fights against bills that infringe on our freedoms. See below for information about our legislative efforts in 2022.
2022 Legislative Focus and Top Priorities:
The “Big Lie,” the sham audit, and millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted chasing baseless claims of voter fraud. Attacks on our democracy have intensified since the 2020 election and we expect that voting rights will be targeted this legislative session. In 2021 alone, over 400 anti-voter measures were introduced by states and local jurisdictions across the country. We’re prepared to fight back against bills that undercut our democratic process and advocate for a system of fair and open elections where all qualified citizens — regardless of disability, race, socioeconomic status, or party — may cast a vote and have it accurately counted. We will oppose any legislation that seeks to disenfranchise eligible voters or makes it more difficult to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
Criminal Justice Reform
Arizona’s criminal legal system locks too many people up for far too long and is designed to disproportionately criminalize, incarcerate, and disenfranchise people of color and those with fewer resources. We anticipate that we will need to oppose bills that criminalize people’s right to free speech and assembly and raise mandatory minimum sentences, which do not act as a deterrent and further increase our prison population.
We will be supporting legislation that increases transparency in the criminal justice system by requiring prosecutors to collect and share data and advocating for policy change that would make simple drug possession a misdemeanor, not a felony. For more information, check out the Smart Justice website.
Last year, the ACLU of Arizona and partners achieved a major victory by prohibiting any student under seven years of age from being suspended or expelled from school. This year, we will continue to advocate for policies that prohibit discrimination against students of color and students with disabilities, legislation that prohibits the criminalization and push-out of students, and legislation that increases the number of counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers in the classroom.
We anticipate attacks on accurate and inclusive education in the classroom and legislation that prohibits school officials from implementing scientifically recommended precautions against the spread of disease.
No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. The ACLU of Arizona supports comprehensive LGBTQ protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, medical care, and government services. We will support legislation ensuring that LGBTQ Arizonans and gender nonconforming individuals can live openly, with dignity and respect, and oppose legislation denying such basic human rights.
Nationwide attacks on gender-affirming health care, trans student athletes and gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs are on the horizon. We will remain steadfast in our mission to protect the rights of all.
Anti-abortion lawmakers have been working for decades to push abortion out of reach and they have only intensified their attacks in recent years. In 2021, there were more concerted attacks on abortion access and voting rights in the United States than we've seen in generations. With Roe v. Wade vulnerable, we will be vigilant in protecting the ability of every Arizonan to access abortion and reproductive healthcare.
Reproductive rights are essential to an individual's equality, autonomy, economic self-sufficiency, and dignity. We will oppose legislative efforts to erode the constitutional right to abortion.