University of Denver

Conservative Groups Challenge Retention of Arizona Justice

Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

Conservative groups have mounted a loosely organized effort to oppose the retention of Justice John Pelander because of his vote in a 3-2 ruling that allows Proposition 121 to appear on the November ballot. The measure would institute open primary elections, where all candidates run against each other regardless of party affiliation and the top two vote-getters compete in the general election. Governor Brewer opposes Proposition 121 but supports the retention of Pelander, whom she appointed to the court in 2009. This is the first active effort to oppose a justice’s retention since the process was adopted in 1974.