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Consensus 1969; Reviewed 1995

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The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports the selection of judges by appointment, with voter approval for retention; adequate judicial salaries; longer terms; higher qualifications for justices of the peace and magistrates; a judicial nominating commission, responsible to the governor; and a competency review commission. To assure that our judges are free of political bias and possessed of the proper qualities of temperament and intellect, and yet retain ultimate control of the courts in the hands of the people; The League of Women Voters of Arizona supports:

  • Appointment of judges by the governor from list of qualified nominees submitted by a bipartisan commission of legal and lay members.
  • Retention of a judge in office, after an established period of time, only by a “yes” vote of the people, a “no” vote requiring a new appointment by the governor.

(This system of judicial selection and tenure was implemented in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties after they reached the constitutionally required population of 250,000. Counties not having reached that population can adopt merit selection by a vote of their electorate. Although we have basically accomplished our goal, we retain the position because in each session of the Legislature, there are efforts to return to the old elective system.)

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