Arizona Supreme Court

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Arizona Supreme Court
Seal of the Arizona Supreme Court.png
Seal of the Arizona Supreme Court
Established1912
CountryUnited States
LocationPhoenix, Arizona
Composition methodMissouri plan with retention elections
Authorized byArizona Constitution
Decisions are appealed toSupreme Court of the United States
Judge term length6 years
No. of positions7
WebsiteOfficial site
Chief Justice
CurrentlyScott Bales
SinceJuly 1, 2014
Lead position endsJune 30, 2019

The Arizona Supreme Court is the state supreme court of the U.S. state of Arizona. It consists of a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justices. Each justice is appointed by the governor of Arizona from a list recommended by a bipartisan commission. Justices stand for retention in an election two years after their appointment and then every six years.[1] They must retire at age 70.

The Chief Justice is chosen for a five-year term by the court, and is eligible for re-election. He or she supervises the administration of all the inferior courts. He or she is Chairman of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, which nominates candidates to fill vacancies in the appellate courts. If the Governor fails to appoint one of the nominated candidates within sixty days of their names being submitted to her or him, the Chief Justice makes the appointment.

The Vice Chief Justice, who acts as Chief Justice in the latter's "absence or incapacity," is chosen by the court for a term determined by the court.[2]

The jurisdiction of the court is prescribed by Article VI, Section 5 of the Arizona Constitution.[3] Most of the appeals heard by the court go through the Arizona Court of Appeals, except for death penalty cases, over which the Arizona Supreme Court has sole appellate jurisdiction. The court also has original jurisdiction in a few other circumstances as outlined in the Arizona Constitution. A quorum is three, but the whole court must sit in order to declare a law unconstitutional.[4]

Selection of justices[edit]

Arizona Supreme Court Building in downtown Phoenix.

Justices are selected by a modified form of the Missouri Plan. A bipartisan commission considers applicants and sends a list of nominees to the governor. The governor is required by law to appoint from this list based on merit, without regard to party affiliation. Justices are then retained for an initial period, after which they are subject to a retention election. If the justice wins the election, his/her term is six years.

Qualifications[edit]

  • Admitted to the practice of law in Arizona and be a resident of Arizona for the 10 years before taking office;
  • May not practice law while a member of the judiciary;
  • May not hold any other political office or public employment;
  • May not hold office in any political party;
  • May not campaign, except for him/herself; and,
  • Must retire at age 70.[5]

Justices[edit]

The current Arizona Supreme Court includes:

Title Name Appointment Reaches age 70 Law school graduated from Appointed by
Chief Justice Scott Bales 2005 2026 Harvard Law School Janet Napolitano
Vice Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel 2010 2028 University of Arizona Jan Brewer
Associate Justice John Pelander 2009 2021 University of Arizona Jan Brewer
Associate Justice Ann Timmer 2012 2030 Arizona State University College of Law Jan Brewer
Associate Justice Clint Bolick 2016 2027 UC Davis School of Law Doug Ducey
Associate Justice Andrew Gould 2016 2034 Northwestern University School of Law Doug Ducey
Associate Justice John Lopez IV 2016 2039 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey

Court history[edit]

The court started in 1912 with 3 justices, they were Alfred Franklin, Donald L. Cunningham, and Henry D. Ross and took office on February 14, 1912. In 1949, the Court expanded from 3 to 5 justices.[6] In 2016, the Court expanded from 5 to 7 justices.[7]

Chief Justices[edit]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Format Document".
  2. ^ "Format Document".
  3. ^ "Article 6 Section 5 - Supreme court; jurisdiction; writs; rules; habeas corpus".
  4. ^ "Format Document".
  5. ^ http://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Supreme-Court
  6. ^ William O. Douglas, Arizona's New Judicial Article, 2 ARIZ. L. REV. 159 (1960).
  7. ^ http://kjzz.org/content/269920/bill-would-add-2-new-justices-arizona-supreme-court

External links[edit]