Arizona House votes on bill this week to change state’s merit selection system by statute rather than constitutional amendment; oddly bill is NOT before the Judiciary Committee

February 18th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

Arizona’s merit selection system was the subject of a package-amendment (Proposition 115) introduced in 2011 that failed at the November 2012 ballot box 27-73. Included in the Proposition was a provision requiring the state’s merit selection commissions give governors at least 8 names to select from, up from the constitution’s currently provision of at least 3. Apparently undaunted by the loss, advocates for changing the way the state’s merit selection system is set up are apparently trying to change by statute what they could not change by constitutional amendment.

Article 6, Section 37 of the state’s constitution provides for a merit selection commission for the state’s appellate courts. Paragraph A lays out the framework: the commission on appellate court appointments is to submit to the governor “the names of not less than three persons” to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. Article 6, Section 41, Paragraph I has similar language with respect to the state’s Superior Courts that use merit selection: “not less than three individuals”.

HB 2600 adds a new section in state law to provide that the governor be given at least 5 names for any vacancy. In addition, it requires the voting records for all commission activities be made public, including and specifically how individual commissioners voted on individuals being considered.

Unlike the failed Proposition 115, which was a constitutional amendment requiring approval by Arizona voters, HB 2600 purports to make the change by statute, requiring only the legislature and a governor’s signature.

HB 2600 is set for a vote on Wednesday (February 20) not in the House Judiciary Committee, where all prior efforts to change the state’s merit selection have been dealt with, such as HCR 2010 of 2013 which would require judges in yes/no retention elections that are part of the state’s merit selection system identify on the ballot their party affiliation.

Instead, the House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee will be voting on the measure this week.

3 comments

  1. brian says:

    The BAR has been seeding members within the judiciary as such to direct rulings! The constitution would not have been changed by HB2600 but reworded as such to prevent lawyer tactics on skirting the intent of what is written. Justice Bales and his BAR buddies amplify nothing to something just like any tactical member of the BAR when they intend to get away with lying including willful child endangerment and use of children for money, gender hate! The BAR is the puppet master of the judiciary! And the BAR calls and directs judgement from outside of court proceedings resulting in the violation of due process of hard working citizens! Ask SR BAR Counsel James Lee About this! We have many documented evidence to cite the AZBAR directs the judiciary and AZBAR is a privet funded organization!!! The Judicial Branch is a branch that processes the laws and not authorized to change the laws to its personal liking. We are lucky the Judiciary does not have too many KKK lovers but we have plenty of father haters in the Judiciary that act on that hat on a regular basis! It is a legal wit to appoint only three! If one is a good chess player, then one would appoint three and that how to embed buddies in the system!

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