Arizona residents are subject to Arizona state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Arizona as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Arizona also has its own state laws. Arizona state laws include the Arizona Constitution, laws passed by the Arizona legislature and periodically codified in the Arizona Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Arizona laws.
The Arizona Constitution was drafted in 1910, two years before Arizona became a state. Thus, it is the only constitution in the state’s history. Article 21 of the Constitution provides the processes for amending it, which include ballot initiatives, amendments proposed by the state legislature, and constitutional conventions. Before an initiative petition appears on a ballot, it must be signed by qualified electors who equal at least 15 percent of the total votes cast for governor candidates in the latest election. If an amendment is proposed in the state legislature, a majority of each chamber of the legislature must approve it before it is placed on a statewide ballot. Constitutional conventions may be called only by a statewide popular vote.
The Arizona Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Arizona legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Arizona Constitution are often interpreted by the Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals, which consists of two divisions. The federal Arizona District Court also issues decisions that may affect Arizona residents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Arizona District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Ninth Circuit or from the Arizona Supreme Court.