The path to statehood for Arizona was anything but easy. For many years, the people in the New Mexico and Arizona Territories petitioned Congress seeking admission into the Union. During the late 19th Century various members of Congress introduced bills in support of Arizona and New Mexico statehood, but none were approved. Despite widespread concern over Arizona's constitutional provision for the recall of judges, Congress passed H.J.Res. 14, "to admit the territories of New Mexico and Arizona as States into the Union." On August 15, 1911, President William Howard Taft vetoed the statehood resolution in large part because Arizona's constitution allowed for the recall of judges, a provision that he stated went against the need for an independent judiciary.
Immediately after Taft vetoed the resolution providing for New Mexico and Arizona statehood, Congress passed S.J.Res. 57, admitting the territories of New Mexico and Arizona as states conditioned upon Arizona voters' adoption of an amendment to the constitution removing the judiciary recall provision. President Taft approved the resolution on August 21, 1911. On February 14, 1912, Taft signed the proclamation making Arizona the 48th state, and the last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the union.