Biden Bombs Syria

By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Despite vowing during a presidential debate in February 2020 that military action would be a last resort for problems in the Middle East, President Joe Biden’s first action in the region since taking office last month was to order an air strike on Syrian territory. This action was immediately criticized by the Senate’s most reliably anti-war member Rand Paul (R-Ken), who tweeted “I condemn meddling in Syria’s civil war. I also condemn attacking a sovereign nation. What authority does he have to strike Syria?”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who herself questioned former President Trump’s authority to order air strikes in the region back in 2018, defended Biden’s action, saying “times have changed. In 2018 a usurper occupied the presidency. He had no legitimate authority to do anything. President Biden won the election in 2020 with more votes than any other person has ever received for president. This gives him a mandate to do whatever he wants.”

As for Biden’s debate promise not to go trigger-happy in office, Psaki insisted that “no one remembers that now, not even the President himself. Everyone except Sen. Paul is unified behind President Biden on this issue now. I wonder if Paul has considered the seriousness of his effort to undermine this country’s ability to fight and win this war. Some might call his action treason.”

In related news, Biden issued an executive order cancelling a prior executive order issued by Trump that limited China’s access to American capital to help finance its military technology. Psaki explained that “the Trump policy stood as a barrier to unifying our two nations. If we allow them to get the weapons technology they want from us they will be less likely to attack our country because it would be nonsensical to cut its own supply line. The President hopes to divert China’s ambitions in another direction—maybe India or Australia—and thereby, keep America safe.”

Democrat Election Reform Bill Touted

In an effort to institutionalize the ad hoc procedures that won the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden, Democrats in Congress have crafted legislation that would mandate sweeping changes in the voting process nationwide.

The “For the People” Act’s lead sponsor Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md) emphasized the urgency of getting this done now, saying “We may not get the opportunity to make this change again for many, many decades, so let’s not miss that window. Shame on us if we don’t get this done.”

Among the changes that will be made is to make vote-by-mail universal. Sarbanes explained that “the varied state requirements and restrictions are anti-democratic. People who want to vote shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get a ballot, fill it out, and return it. Ballots should be mailed to everyone. They should also be available on street corners like newspapers are, only it won’t require coins to open the box and pull out as many ballots as you need. Voters could mail their ballots in or drop them off at the many drop boxes scattered around the community. Alternatively, community volunteers or Party workers could distribute ballots, collect them, check them for accuracy, and drop them off after midnight on election day.”

The reform bill would also eliminate the voter registration and ID requirements that many states currently have. Reform supporter Stacey Abrams, former Democrat candidate for governor of Georgia, called registration and ID requirements “tools for suppressing the vote. Voting is a human right. Every human should, therefore, be considered eligible to vote without having to get government permission. The fact is, only humans have the mental capacity it takes to vote. Consequently, every ballot that is filled out must have been cast by a human and should be counted by poll workers.”

In contrast, Europeans are quite skeptical of these so-called reforms. Jérôme Rivière, a French member of the European Parliament, said “France banned mail-in ballots in 1975 because it was too easy to cheat.” More recently, the French Senate refused to approve President Macron’s proposal to permit early voting, calling it “not safe enough from fraud or manipulation.” Abrams characterized this skepticism as “typical white thinking.”

Student Suspended for “False Opinion”

Owen Stevens was suspended from his degree program by State University of New York (SUNY) Genesee for saying “a man is a man, a woman is a woman.” Stevens was ratted out by peers who heard him say this on a video.

Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator Patricia Pendejo called Stevens’ remarks “completely false. They call into question his ability to maintain a classroom environment protecting the mental and emotional well-being of all of students. His contention that his statement is backed up by science is misinformation. Current scientific thinking says that gender is fluid and a matter of choice.”

Dean of the School of Education Dr. Kate Schiefen ordered Stevens “to complete a remediation plan consisting of taking down his Instagram videos, toning down his social media presence, and attending school-sanctioned training before he can be permitted to continue his studies. We hold the teachers we train to high standards. We can’t graduate insensitive and narrow-minded brutes and send them into our public schools.”

Stevens has refused to undergo remediation. “Teaching is about inspiring students to think for themselves,” he said. “This includes being able to confront ideas with which they may disagree without wilting or whimpering. Students are free to disagree with their teachers and present their own arguments fopr what they believe to be true. I do not see a teacher’s role as one of ideological indoctrination.”

Apprised of Stevens’ resistance to being reeducated, Dean Schiefen declared him “unfit to teach,” asserting that “after review of all available materials, I find that, based on your continued public stance and social media presence, you do not consistently demonstrate behaviors required by the Conceptual Framework of the School of Education.”

Dems Call for Biden to Give Up Nuclear Launch Authority

A group of Democrats in the House have called for President Joe Biden to give up his sole authority to authorize the launch of nuclear weapons. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif) said “vesting one person with this authority entails real risks, especially when that person is manifestly cognitively impaired. We need to establish a process that involves a broader spectrum of participants who could discuss the matter before launching.”

Panetta acknowledged the possible urgency issue of having only minutes to respond to an incoming nuclear missile attack, but maintained that “delay in mounting a counterattack is preferable to entrusting a mental incompetent to make the right decision. I mean, I tried to talk to the President about this, but couldn’t break through to him. In response to me he asked ‘what’s a nuclear lunch? Why would I order one? Can’t I just have my usual split pea soup?’”

Vice-President Kamala Harris called Panetta’s concerns “overwrought. Joe’s not going to do anything we don’t tell him to do. He is the friendly face America needs to stay calm and unified. We already have a ‘process’ that involves a broader spectrum of participants. In fact, it was this broader spectrum that told the President to launch an air strike on Syria this week. As we saw, everything went off without a hitch. Congressman Panetta and his co-conspirators need to relax and get back to their real jobs of grabbing a piece of the COVID pork barrel spending for their home districts.”

Kerry Engaged in Shadow Diplomacy with Iran

According to a Washington Times story, John Kerry, former Secretary of State during the later years of the Obama Administration, engaged in shadow diplomacy with Iran during the Trump Administration. Ironically, “shadow diplomacy” was one of the allegations that spurred the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump during the first two years of his term. After spending $35 million on this investigation no evidence of any crime by Trump was uncovered.

Kerry brazenly asserted that his moves behind President Trump’s back were “totally justified. Though we lacked any evidence to prove Trump committed a crime, all of us knew he was bad news for America. The most heroic among us, myself included, went the extra mile to short-circuit Trump’s policies before they could do any damage. Because of my efforts, Iran waited out the sanctions Trump placed on them until President Biden could undo the sanctions and allow Iran to resume its efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.”

“The imbalance between a nuclear United States and a non-nuclear Iran was both unfair and destabilizing,” Kerry argued. “We learned from the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union how important the ‘balance of terror’ was for maintaining peace. The knowledge that one wrong move by the United States could lead to nuclear annihilation helped restrain its imperialistic attempts at world domination. Trump’s insistence on America first undermined the balance of terror that could have developed if Iran got nukes. Now, with Democrats in control of the federal government the prospects for achieving a new balance of terror between Iran and America are most favorable.”

Acting on what it said was Kerry’s advice, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is demanding that the US “pay one trillion dollars as reparations for the damage done to our country’s economy by the Trump Administration’s sanctions.” Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee to be his Secretary of State expressed some concern about using the word “reparations” for the compensation due Iran. “The President would like to restrict the use of that word to payments made to Blacks for slavery,” Blinken said. “I believe he would be open to ‘investing’ a trillion dollars in the Iranian economy as a humanitarian gesture toward the great nation of Iran.”

Dems Pressure Cable TV to Drop Conservative News Networks

Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) sent letters to the CEOs of multiple cable TV providers—including Amazon, Apple, Google and others—demanding to know “why Fox News, One America News Network and Newsmax are still part of your basic cable programming. You must be aware that they are using your platform to disseminate disinformation.”

Eshoo explained “if we want to have true democracy in this country we must have unity of thoughts and expressions. The conservative news sites we single out are trying to turn the tide against true democracy. The notion that truth will emerge from vigorous debate between individuals of different viewpoints is out-dated and naive. Allowing all views freedom of speech is too risky. The voices of evil can be very persuasive. It is the government’s duty to silence these voices for the good of humanity. Our letters to the cable providers is the opening salvo in this crucial battle for what President Biden has called “America’s soul.”

After receiving their copy of the letter, Amazon took the critically acclaimed documentary “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” off the list of programs its subscribers are permitted to watch. A spokesman for the company explained, “it was pointed out to us that Thomas is not authentically Black. In fact, he is on record questioning many of the views expressed by those who are authentic Blacks. This sows unneeded dissension and works against the unity President Biden is working so hard to achieve.”

Pandemic Paves Way to Totalitarianism

Naomi Wolf, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton during his 1996 reelection campaign sees the government response to the COVID pandemic turning America into a totalitarian society. “All across America governors declared emergencies and then proceeded to exert dictatorial control,” she asserted. “They told people to stay home. They ordered businesses to close. They encouraged neighbors to spy on each other. These are the kind of rotten policies that dictators have used throughout history to destroy free societies.”

“We have even reached the stage where a corrupt alliance of big tech and government is censoring views that question the fear mongering being used to scare people into accepting repression as a necessary measure to save their health,” Wolfe added. “This strongly imitates the fascism Mussolini imposed on Italy. The designation of some people as ‘essential’ and others ‘nonessential’ is a very totalitarian move. Absurdly, every government employee is automatically deemed essential. The reality is that there are great lumps of unproductive deadwood within every government bureaucracy. These people draw steady paychecks, many of them for doing absolutely nothing of value to anyone.”

“Meanwhile, the livelihoods of the ‘nonessential’ are shutdown,” Wolfe continued. “The belated and paltry ‘stimulus checks’ of a few thousand dollars are a grossly inadequate substitute for the forfeited right to earn a living by honest work as a business owner or employee providing a product or service willingly purchased by customers. I wish my Democrat friends would step back from the abyss they’re taking the country into, but most seem so thrilled with the power to get things done that couldn’t get done through normal democratic give-and-take and compromise. The monster they have created will, in the end, devour most of them. They will ultimately be given show trials where they confess their sins, are found guilty, and executed by the tyranny they helped create.”

Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.” His work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh program. Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

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Judge Rules Arizona’s Maricopa County Must Turn Over 2.1 Million November Election Ballots to Senate

By Jack Phillips, The Epoch Times

A judge on Friday ruled that Maricopa County must provide some 2.1 million ballots from the Nov. 3 election to the Arizona state Senate and allow access to its election equipment to conduct an audit.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ruled that subpoenas issued by Arizona’s state Senate are valid and should be enforced, and he disputed arguments from Maricopa County officials saying the subpoenas are unlawful. The county previously stated that multiple audits have been sufficient and said ballots should be sealed.

“The Court finds that the subpoenas are legal and enforceable,” Thomason wrote (pdf) in his ruling. “There is no question that the Senators have the power to issue legislative subpoenas. The subpoenas comply with the statutory requirements for legislative subpoenas. The Senate also has broad constitutional power to oversee elections.”

He argued that the “Arizona legislature clearly has the power to investigate and examine election reform matters,” adding that senators can “subpoena material as part of an inquiry into election reform measures.”

The move was hailed by Republican legislators in Arizona.

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, a Republican, told news outlets after the judge’s ruling that their move was “never about overturning the election, it was about the integrity of the Arizona election system.”

“This was always about voter integrity and the integrity of the voting system itself,” Fann added.

State Sen. Warren Petersen, a Republican, confirmed that the Senate will go through with a “forensic audit” of Maricopa’s Nov. 3 election results. Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, saw more than 2.1 million people vote during the last election.

But Bill Gates, the vice-chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, wrote Friday that the county has “nothing to hide,” adding that officials have “conducted three fully transparent audits, including two forensic audits by independent, qualified and outside Vote System Testing Laboratories.”

“I trust the Senate will be completely transparent with the public as Maricopa County has been,” he added. “From the beginning, the County sought clarification from the court. The court has ruled. I look forward to working with the Senate to provide them the information they are requesting.”

The subpoenas were issued following allegations of voter fraud and irregularities made by former President Donald Trump and surrogates including Rudy Giuliani.

A dispute over the election began when former Senate Judiciary Chairman Eddie Farnsworth held a hearing to question county officials about the election. Farnsworth and Fann then issued several subpoenas, which prompted Maricopa County to issue a lawsuit. The subpoenas were re-issued in January.

It’s not clear if the Maricopa Board of Supervisors will appeal Thomason’s decision. The Epoch Times has reached out to the county for comment.

Bill Whittle: What Do Republicans and Democrats Fear?

As Bill Whittle points out, the fears of Democrats are nonexistent things. And amazingly, “climate change” did not even make the Democrats’ top 12 fears. Bill says it’s because most Democrats don’t even believe in it.

On the other hand, the things that Republicans are most concerned about are legitimate threats to our nation.

This video is very telling about the shocking differences between these two political groups. The Left has been completely indoctrinated by the loony Left-stream media for decades.

Whittle’s video is based on this story by Townhall’s Matt Vespa:

Wait…These Are the Top Three Concerns for Democratic Voters? Yes, It’s Insane.

It shouldn’t shock us, but here we are again, folks. We can think Democrats can’t be this dense, but they always find ways to amaze, don’t they? If you could guess what the top three issues Democratic voters are most concerned with what would you pick? Climate change? The economy? Taxes? Nope. It’s Trump supporters, white supremacy, and systemic racism. I’m not kidding. We’re facing job losses and a stagnant economy that will remain stuck in the mud if this minimum wage hike passes in the COVID relief bill. And Democrats’ top concerns are issues that won’t help a single person in America. It’s selfish. It’s detached. It shows that these people really don’t have a care in the world. It must be nice. Only the financially secure and the privileged can say they’re really, really worried about people with differing political views. 

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Capitol Police Officers Suspended

By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman announced the investigation of 35 members of the Capitol Police force and the suspension—with pay—for six of them for “their inappropriate actions during the January 6th insurrection attack on Congress.”

As an example, Pittman referenced a video showing Capitol Police Lt. Tarik Khalid Johnson wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat while talking to several supporters of former President Trump. “Though Lt. Johnson contends he was just trying to maintain calm by seeming to be friendly and civil towards these domestic terrorists, I do not view his methods as being in accord with proper police tactics,” she said. “Our force was adequately armed during the incursion, but only one officer shot one intruder. If Lt. Johnson and others had followed his example dozens, maybe hundreds of enemies of the Party could have been eliminated on that day.”

Pittman explained the light penalty of suspension with pay was “appropriate. Since the main instigator of the attack was acquitted by his Republican co-conspirators in the US Senate, we can’t levy a sterner punishment for lesser criminals. I think the contrast between President Biden giving the Medal of Freedom to the officer who killed Ashli Babbit and the slap-on-the-wrist for these six deviant officers will be sufficient to guide the rest of the force toward acceptable behavior in the future.”

Despite the leniency toward some of its members the Capitol Police Labor Union cast a vote of no confidence in their leadership, including Pittman, who was elevated to acting chief on January 8th.

Senator Whines About Censure

Though he wasn’t one of the seven Republican senators who voted to convict former President Trump at his unconstitutional impeachment trial last week, Sen. John Thune (S. Dak) called the censure of some of those who did “one of the worst examples of ‘cancel culture’ I have ever seen.”

None of the censured senators was banned by Twitter or Facebook. None were doxxed. None were banned from appearing on media. All a motion of censure does is express disapproval of the actions of the person censured. It’s conceivable that this disapproval could cost the senators some votes at their next election, but each senator is still free to argue his or her case before the voters. They were not “unpersoned” as many conservative advocates have been in the real incidents of cancel-culture we have seen in recent years.

While he reluctantly acknowledged that these senators have not actually been “canceled.” Thune contended that “such open criticism by members of our own Party is unseemly. Senators are important members of society. It is not really the place of persons of lesser standing to besmirch highly placed members of the government that rules them, especially on the petty grounds that they disagree with these senators. We are serving the country and we deserve respect no matter what we do.”

Green New Deal Would Have Prevented Texas Power Failures

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says that “the power failures in Texas wouldn’t have occurred if we already had the Green New Deal in place. Over the past century an increasingly industrialized and consumer-oriented society has become more and more dependent upon the comfort and convenience provided by capitalistic exploitation of natural resources. The aim of the Green New Deal is to unchain the people from their reliance upon these comforts and conveniences.”

“If we were already living under the rules of the New Green Deal the cold and shivering that has shocked the residents of Texas would be the normal way of life,” the Congresswoman contended. “Before the industrial revolution raped nature in order to make things easier for humans life was hard. Discomfort was an everyday event. Hunger was always a looming threat. Under such conditions people lived simpler lives. Because many had essentially nothing but each other there was greater harmony among them. Because there was nothing to steal crime was basically nonexistent.”

“If people were rational they’d see the disaster that has befallen Texas as a warning to turn back from the selfish comforts of modern life,” she said. “Unfortunately, they have been deluded by four years of ‘make America great’ propaganda. This is why the government needs to compel everyone to take the rational course. Humans may suffer, but the planet will be saved.”

Gov Vows to Destroy Critic

As the horror of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mismanagement of the COVID pandemic in his state sinks in, fellow Democrats are demanding an investigation. State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) vocally condemned Cuomo for mingling infected elders among nursing home residents throughout the state. Cuomo responded to this criticism by warning Kim “I will destroy you.”

Kim called the Governor’s threat “chilling. He reminded me that he won an Emmy for his role in fighting the COVID pandemic and that it was his word against mine—a giant vs. a pygmy. He professed himself undecided about whether to ‘disappear’ me or to trash my reputation. He claimed ‘the media love me. They see me as presidential material. If you don’t write a letter of apology and retract what you said about me what happens to you will be your own fault.’”

The fact is Cuomo ordered COVID-19 patients into elderly care facilities and barred staff from even testing them before entry. He barred nursing homes from sending COVID patients to the nearly empty naval hospital ship anchored outside Manhattan and the sprawling Javits Center field hospital that was given to New York by the Trump Administration—because, as Cuomo said, “sending patients there would’ve made Trump the hero of the story. That’s something both the media and I determined must not be allowed to happen, especially in an election year.”

Pelosi Conceals Evidence on Jan 6th Capitol Security Failures

Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rodney Davis (R-IL) and James Comer (R-KY) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) asking a series of questions including “When then-Chief Sund made a request for National Guard support on Jan. 4, why was that request denied?”

Pelosi is refusing to answer any questions or share any information “with the traitors who enabled the insurrection. This is the time for the nation to be unified behind one shared narrative. Attempts to cast doubt about the decisions made by members of the Party are disunifying. I, for one, will not aid and abet our enemies.”

Though Pelosi couldn’t bring herself to approve National Guard help that might have prevented the January 6th riot, she now insists that troops in and barricades around the Capitol must stay in place until Fall. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich) wants to know why. “It seems to me that continued deployment of troops at the Capitol is unnecessary and expensive,” McClain said. “Shouldn’t Congress be asked to approve an appropriation for the hundreds of millions it costs? The Speaker does not have the authority to approve such an expense all on her own.”

Pelosi rejected McClain’s questions as “impertinent and disloyal. Obedience is what is required at this time of grave national peril. Those who won’t abide by this requirement are being scrutinized and will be dealt with as I deem necessary.”

Dems Want to Kill Right-to-Work & Gig economy

Democrats in Congress are advancing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021. If enacted, this bill would ban state right-to-work laws and severely curtail the “gig” economy. In right-to-work states workers are not required to be union members in order to be employed. The “gig” economy consists of individuals working as independent contractors.

Co-sponsor of the bill, House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert Scott (D-VA) pointed out that “both the right-to-work and the ‘gig’ economy impede a union’s efforts to organize an employer’s workforce. Allowing people to work without belonging to a union undermines socialist solidarity by muddling the identities of the workforce. Our bill would simplify roles by clearly putting people into their proper class—either proletariat or bourgeoisie.”

Isabel Soto of the American Action Forum argued that “the so-called ‘right to organize’ is, in reality, a bid to make union membership compulsory and destroy an estimated 59 million independent contractors. It will reduce gross domestic output by as much as $30 billion per year.”

Scott was unmoved by Soto’s criticism, saying “just as I expected, the right-wing opponents of collectivism appeal to personal greed in their futile effort to thwart the transformation of this country from capitalism to socialism.”

Biden Ends Trump Industry Apprenticeship Program

The latest batch of Executive Orders signed by President Biden included one revoking the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) established by President Trump in 2017. According to the Biden Administration “the problem with the Trump program is that it allowed trade and industry groups, companies, non-profit organizations, unions, and joint labor-management organizations to create their own apprenticeship programs that would help workers obtain the skills that the economy needed.”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained that “the narrow focus on developing job skills that enable the apprentices to proficiently perform the necessary tasks of their work is out-of-step with our vision of building back better. We think a larger role for the government is needed in order to ensure that social justice goals like racial diversity are vigorously pursued.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the Ranking Member on the House Committee on Education and Labor, called Biden’s move “a step backward. Ending IRAPs will kill jobs. The notion that a grossly inefficient government bureaucracy can improve on a program that has been working successfully for nearly four years is ludicrous and irresponsible. Reintroducing the added layers of red-tape that stifled job training during the Obama Administration will hurt working people, businesses, consumers, and the economy.”

Psaki rebutted Foxx’s criticism, saying that “the mania for efficiency and prosperity that drove the policies of the Trump Administration is over. The new theme is ‘unity.’ Not everyone can be efficient. Prosperity is an excessively materialistic yardstick. The President believes that the inept, indolent, and stupid must be allowed an appropriate place in our newly unified America. Government regulation is the perfect tool for accomplishing this.”

Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.” His work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh program. Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Arizona Senate passes bill strengthening its investigative powers amid Maricopa County vote audit dispute

By The Epoch Times

The Arizona Senate passed a bill Thursday that would grant the Arizona legislature the authority to subpoena election records like ballots and tabulating equipment, and ignore any laws to the contrary.

The bill amends a portion of the Arizona statutes such that county election equipment, systems and records, and other information that is under the control of county personnel “may not be deemed privileged information, confidential information, or other information protected from disclosure.” It also subjects such records to a subpoena and stipulates that they “must be produced” and the legislature’s authority to conduct related probes “may not be infringed by any other law.”

The rule change is to be retroactive as of Dec. 31, 2019, meaning it would apply to records around the November election.

State Sen. Warren Petersen, a Republican, introduced the bill amid a battle between Republican Senate leaders and Maricopa County officials over the attempt by GOP senators to audit the 2020 election.

Republican lawmakers in the Arizona Senate have issued subpoenas to Maricopa County demanding that it turn over a range of election records, calling for a scanned ballot audit and a forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment and software. But the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted against complying with the subpoenas, instead seeking judgment from a court about whether they have to comply. Arizona senators filed a countersuit, asking the court to enforce the subpoenas, which was subsequently dismissed.

County officials alleged the subpoenas were “far in excess” of the state legislature’s power. “The subpoenas are unlawful,” the county said in its lawsuit. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge will hear arguments in the case next week and is expected to rule on the matter in short order, according to the Arizona Mirror.

Arizona’s attorney general has also weighed in on the case, saying that the state legislature has the authority to issue subpoenas regarding the administration of elections.

“The Arizona Legislature has broad power to issue subpoenas regarding election administration in connection with the 2020 general election, both to review how the county discharged its duties during that election and to craft future election legislation. Any argument by the county otherwise should fail,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, said in a court filing.

The passage of Senate Bill 1408 on Thursday gives further impetus to Republican senators’ efforts and their subpoenas, which were spurred by claims of irregularities in the November election.

But Sen. J.D. Mesnard, a Republican, told the Arizona Mirror that the bill is less about continuing to litigate the November election as it is about ensuring that the legislature’s investigative authority is clarified and protected to allow a greater impact on election integrity in the future.

“This is a much broader statement about the legislature and our subpoena powers, because as of late, it seems those powers are not respected,” Mesnard told the outlet. “Our subpoenas are supposed to matter. This is making that very clear.”

“Even if you set aside this election, if something nefarious happens in the future, regardless of whether you believe it happened now, and suddenly you wanted to investigate it, you would find yourself in the very same situation,” he added.

Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat, took aim at the bill, saying it serves to spread disinformation about the election.

“The more we continue down this path, we continue to spread the ‘Big Lie’ that something was wrong with our elections. The more we continue to go after the county board of supervisors and try to subpoena all this information … we are furthering and perpetuating this lie,” Quezada told the Arizona Mirror.

Meanwhile, Maricopa County officials said in late January that they will carry out a comprehensive forensic audit of its voting systems to allay concerns raised by some constituents about the integrity of the November 2020 election.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at a Jan. 27 meeting to hire two independent companies to conduct an audit that will review whether voting machines counted votes correctly, and whether they were tampered with or hacked in any way.

The Republican-dominated board defended the accuracy of the county’s election results, while expressing hope that a comprehensive equipment and software audit would dispel concerns that the results were inaccurate.

“Maricopa County elections were administered with integrity throughout 2020. That’s a fact. Multiple audits to date have proved as much, and multiple court rulings have concurred,” Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement.

“It’s also true that a significant number of voters want the additional assurance that a full forensic audit of tabulation equipment might bring, especially given all the misinformation that spread following the November 3 election,” Sellers said.

Senate Bill 1408 now heads to the Arizona state House for reconciliation, after which it would head to the desk of Gov. Doug Ducey for a possible signature.