University of Denver

Arizona High Court Rejects New Merit Selection Law

Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

In a 5-0 ruling, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down a law that required the state's judicial nominating commission to send the names of five candidates to the governor for possible appointment. According to the court's opinion, “the Legislature has no authority to statutorily mandate procedures inconsistent with Arizona's Constitution,” which allows commissions to give the governor as few as three names. The statute was passed in the wake of a failed 2012 attempt to amend the constitution to require that at least eight nominees be submitted to the governor. IAALS partners Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice filed an amicus brief urging the court to reject the new law.