Two Arizona Court of Appeals Judges have requested a special Supreme Court judicial panel to affirm a lower court’s decision that it was unconstitutional for the 2011 state legislature to increase their annual contribution rate to their pension fund. The current justices are all covered by the plan.
“Clint is nationally renowned and respected as a constitutional law scholar and as a champion of liberty. He brings extensive experience and expertise, an unwavering regard for the rule of law and a firm commitment to the state and citizens of Arizona. I’m confident Clint will serve impartially and honorably in this important role.”
Though Bolick ditched his actual party affiliation to promote himself as an ”Independent,” that nimble decision doesn’t lessen the baggage he brings to the court as it relates to this specific issue.
The Goldwater Institute — a Libertarian think tank — where Bolick was employed for nearly a decade, has been a steadfast advocate of the law requiring judges, elected officials, police officers and firefighters to pay a greater share of their benefits. We’re not taking a position on the pension matter here. Raising the issue that Bolick can’t have it both ways stands as a key consideration. Impartiality means no preconceived notions exist to cloud the justice’s judgment. That clearly is not the case here.
Brand new Justice Bolick’s previously stated views that the law does not conflict with either the Constitution or contract law, precludes him from claiming impartiality. Though he has dug his heels in and says he will be part of the panel, he should recuse himself from hearing this case and start his judicial career on a more auspicious note.