Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill That Provides Absolute Religious Exemption from Occupational Licensing and Disciplinary Regimes

This is the bill I blogged about last week; Monday, Gov. Brewer vetoed the bill. The Verde Independent reports that the governor warned of a risk that the protection might be “abuse[d],” and though she offered no specific details,

[The Governor’s] office made public a letter she got from the head of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board pointing up one potential problem.

“Polygamy is prohibited by the Arizona constitution but it is not criminal conduct in Arizona,” wrote Lyle Mann, executive director of the organization …. He said three police officers have had their certification revoked because they practice polygamy.

[Mann] said AzPOST revoked certification of two other officers in the polygamous community of Colorado City. He said the pair had corresponded with Warren Jeffs, leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints, while Jeffs was a fugitive, but refused to provide information that might have helped locate him.

“They claimed that their protection of the fugitive was a religious practice,” Mann wrote to the governor.

“Under this law, it could be argued that following the direction of the church, rather than the constitution and code of ethics, is a right and the state may not intervene to protect its citizens from what appeared to be a church-controlled police force,” Mann said.

Gov. Brewer is apparently open to signing a narrower bill. If anyone can point me to the full text of the governor’s veto message, or of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board letter, I’d be much obliged. Thanks to Prof. Howard Friedman (Religion Clause) for the pointer.

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Robert for passing along a pointer to the veto letter.