University of Denver

Governor Signs Bill Increasing Number of Judicial Nominees

Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed a bill calling for the state's judicial nominating commissions to submit at least five names for each judicial vacancy. As IAALS Online reported last month, some question the constitutionality of the bill, since the state constitution allows commissions to send a minimum of three names to the governor. One of the bill's sponsors believes this inconsistency is addressed by an “escape clause” allowing commissions to submit only three names upon a two-thirds vote. An interesting feature of Arizona's nominating process is that no more than two of three nominees, or no more than 60 percent if there are more than three nominees, may belong to the same political party.