Arizona Capitol Times to challenge restraining order obtained by Rogers

By Ben Giles
Published: Monday, April 24, 2023 - 5:33pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2023 - 9:11am

The Arizona Capitol Times plans to challenge a restraining order obtained by GOP state Sen. Wendy Rogers against one of its reporters.

Last week, Rogers obtained an injunction against harassment against Camryn Sanchez, who was investigating whether Rogers lives in the northern Arizona legislative district she was elected to represent.

The order bars Sanchez from contacting Rogers at any of her homes. Rogers also sought to bar Sanchez from her workplace, the Arizona Senate, but the request was not granted.

In a statement, Capitol Times Publisher Michael Gorman said the challenge is baseless and an unconstitutional prior restraint on a reporter investigating a public official.

“News reporters such as Ms. Sanchez have the right to investigate matters relating to elected officials, which is precisely what Ms. Sanchez has been doing,” Gorman said.

He cited Rogers’ attempt to bar Sanchez from the Senate — a request she’s made previously to Senate GOP leaders — as evidence “the petition and injunction were not about the Senator’s personal safety but were about silencing the press in direct contravention of the First Amendment.”

Wendy Rogers
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Wendy Rogers at a Border 911 press conference at the Arizona State Capitol in January 2023.

In a statement issued last week, Rogers had described herself as feeling physically threatened by Sanchez, particularly after the reporter approached her home at night.

“I don't know this reporter personally, I don't know what she is capable of, and I don't believe anyone in their right mind would show up uninvited to my home at night,” Rogers said. “Therefore, I don't trust that this person wouldn't lash out and try to physically harm me in some fashion.”

The Arizona Constitution requires legislators to live in the county they will represent for at least one year prior to election or appointment. Rogers was elected to represent Legislative District 7 in Coconino County. 

But according to Sanchez’s reporting, Rogers claimed she resided in Tempe around the time she purchased a new home in Chandler — both cities fall within Maricopa County.