Arizona Considers New Selection Process for Judges

Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011 02:24 PM

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Arizona lawmakers are considering changing the selection process for judges that sit on state courts and trial courts in Maricopa and Pima counties, the Yuma Sun reported Tuesday.

State Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican, said the proposed law would fix the current system, which is broken. Once judges are put on the bench through what is called the “merit selection” process, it’s almost impossible to get them out, he said.

The proposed measure would require judges who have been appointed to come back every few years to answer questions from senators about their rulings. The Senate could then remove the judges from office.

Under the current system, the governor selects nominees for the appellate courts and courts in the state’s two largest counties. The judges stand for re-election, but not against an opponent. Instead, voters decided whether to retain or reject a judge.

Only two judges have been voted out of office since 1974 when the system was put in place.

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