Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell speaks on abortion executive order

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Twelve county attorneys from Arizona, including Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell, have asked Governor Hobbs to rescind her executive order giving prosecution authority over abortion-related cases to Attorney General Kris Mayes.

The executive order gives the Attorney General power over what Mitchell believes to be her authority.

“When she issued the executive order, what she basically said was that any such cases would be taken from the county attorneys and put exclusively under the jurisdiction of the Attorney General. That’s simply something that’s outside of the Governor’s authority to do,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell has expressed concern and opposition by writing a letter to Governor Hobbs. Hobbs replied that she will not rescind. Where does it go from here?

“Obviously, I would have liked to have handled it in a professional way through discussion. I was hoping that the Governor, through talking to others as well as the letter, would understand that there’s a better way to handle this, that this is an extremely dangerous precedent. She chose not to, and that is in her purview, but that does not give her the authority. So where it goes from here is we’re going to continue to conduct business as we have for the past year. If a case is submitted, and there have been no cases submitted to me, we’re going to follow the same procedure that we follow for every other case,” Mitchell said.

Does this count as ignoring the executive order?

“In other words, I am going to follow the law,” Mitchell said. “The executive order doesn’t have the authority of overcoming the law.”

In response to potential claims that Mitchell not following the executive order is the same as Hobbs not following the law, Mitchell responded the law trumps executive orders.

Rachel Mitchell, Maricopa County Attorney

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