Ducey expands AZ Supreme Court in costly move

With the issuance of this letter, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey formally announces his signing of House Bill 2537, which expands the state Supreme Court from five justices to seven. Ducey assures that this action is not “court packing” and goes to great lengths to disabuse any notion that this action is a judicial power grab. He says implementation of the $1 million + plan is necessary to ensure “swift justice,” although Chief Justice Scott Bales contends the additional judges are not needed and expansion “is not warranted when other court-related needs are under funded.” Earlier this month Bales asked the governor to veto the legislation.

“Arizonans deserve swift justice from the judicial branch,” Ducey’s letter states. “Adding more voices will ensure that the court can increase efficiency, hear more cases and issue more opinions.”

In January, Ducey appointed Clint Bolick, a registered Independent and Goldwater Institute lawyer, to the high court.

Judicial appointments are among a governor’s most significant decisions, since jurists long tenures far exceed the term(s) of the appointing governor. Judge’s decisions impact issues ranging from the death penalty to issues of constitutionality. All death penalty cases are automatically reviewed by the Supreme Court. 

In the letter explaining his signing Wednesday morning, Ducey said the additional justices will put Arizona on par with states that have similar or smaller populations yet more Supreme Court justices. 

Ducey’s letter explained,  “Adding more voices will ensure that the court can increase efficiency, hear more cases and issue more opinions.”

Rep. J.D. Mesnard, (R-LD 17) who sponsored the bill is quoted as saying the expansion will result in a “greater opportunity for diversity on the court,…including diversity of opinion.”

The list from which Ducey selected currently registered Independent Clint Bolick to the Supreme Court, had just the man to ably meet those requirements. Maurice Portley, a former Maricopa County Superior Court judge was appointed to Div. I of the Court of Appeals in 2003. Well respected, Judge Portley has a wealth of experience on the bench and is black. If Ducey was looking for diversity, Judge Portly would have been the obvious choice,  If Ducey was seeking experience, selecting Portley would have provided that quality and then some. Several of the other applicants had similar judicial experience. which Ducey’s ultimate selection lacked — though he is politically connected.  If that constitutes the diversity the governor touts, we’ve set sail in needlessly choppy waters.

10 Responses to Ducey expands AZ Supreme Court in costly move

  1. Gary Darby says:

    When he first came to office, the Guv was adament that he was going to do his best to make us “Tax Free” like Texas. Anybody heard of any progress on this?

    • Vince says:

      Of course not. Another vacant campaign promise. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. In fact, expanding the court is going to be a very costly move that taxpayers will ultimately bear. The space is there, but the justices will need staff to function. Imagine the outrage if a Democrat governor pulled this unnecessary trickery.

  2. Matt DeGennaro says:

    John McCain didn’t endorse Doug Ducey since it was well known that would have been the political kiss of death for Ducey. But the two have longstanding ties since Ducey’s college days when he worked at Cindy Hensley McCain’s beer distribution empire.

    The link here is amnesty. Clint Bolick is a big amnesty supporter, even co-authoring a book on the topic with Jeb Bush. He has used the liberal contrived word “nativist” to describe those of us who believe we have a right to secure borders and expect orderly, legal immigration rather than the invasion that is taking place. Bolick’s pal Jeb Bush called illegal immigration “an act of love.”

  3. PV PC says:

    Diversity is a smoke screen. It’s all politics. Wasn’t Bolick previously a Republican? His wife ran at least twice for the state legislature from my district (LD 28). Didn’t win.

  4. LEO IN TSN says:

    Just another open-borders, pro-AMNESTY move designed by the AZ McCainiacs to turn AZ from red to blue. Gov. “Cookie-Dough” McDucey is heading the team, as usual. This is what we get when squeemish “R” voters listen to the party pundits who Alinsky our qualified, proven conservative candidates.

    Mr. Mesnard is totally PC in suggesting we need “greater diversity of opinion” on our courts. That is right out of the Marxist playbook, right off the obamao teleprompter, and what has already given US gay “marriage,” gay predators skulking little girls’ bathrooms and lockerrooms, Christian florists-bakers-photographers-B&B owners being destroyed and run out of business. We need less “diversity of opinion” and more jurists who are loyal to their oaths to FOLLOW THE LAW & THE CONSITITUTION.

    It’s pretty easy to see what team these two are on, and it isn’t good for US.

    God bless America.

    • Frankly Speaking says:

      Well stated, Leo. It’s all politics, and definitely not the conservative, Constitutionally aligned brand. The job of the courts is to follow the law, not create it

      I clicked on the link under “swift Justice” in the post.
      http://www.azcourts.gov/clerkofcourt/Agendas-and-Cases-before-the-Court

      The AZ Supreme Court Justices are not overworked. There are 36 cases up for review since the first of the year. The Supremes don’t accept them all, and their clerks do the preliminary workups and research. We are being fed a load of BS from Doug McDucey

  5. Conservative Since Birth says:

    Doug Ducey, was pushed ad nauseum when he was running for governor by Hugh Hewitt on his radio show. Hugh Hewitt (major **naive liberal Republican) is now pushing Ducey to people who come on his show. The last one was Fred Barnes. Hewitt was saying that Ducey is an up-and-comer in the GOP and he should be watched for bigger possibilities in the party.

    Doug Ducey fits right in it appears with the Hewitt, Bush family, Weekly Standard mentality – big government, big spending like Paul Ryan. It seems to be a contagious disease with these people once they get into office.

    **He could not believe that John Kasich was taking money from George Soros to stay in the presidential race. He just didn’t think it was so. Well, it was.

    • Observer says:

      George Soros is also a heavyweight funding source for John McCain. I suspect there’s a Soros connection to the mailers that keep arriving in my home mailbox linking former state senator Dr.Kelli Ward to”Islamic terrorists.” Alex Meluskey is largely a “self funded” candidate, Who do you think might be slipping those big bucks into his campaign war chest to harm the best bet we have to take McCain out in the primary??

  6. Saguaro Sam says:

    We’re on track to have a deficit of over 90,000 physicians in the U.S. in the next ten years.

    Apparently there will never be a shortage of lawyers.

    What happens when there are no more ambulances to chase?

    • Villanova says:

      Ambulance chasers? Lawyers have seven years of college. Do you? They handle complex legal problems for clients on a wide range of matters and routinely represent people in need, pro bono. Legal specialties range from tax and real estate law to injury and wrongful death law to estate and trust law and even adoptions. . All defendants are entitled to legal representation, which sets America apart from repressive regimes. Would you trust yourself to provide your own representation if you were charged with a crime? You’d have a fool for a client. Do-it-yourself divorces are often disastrous for the parties, including the children, involved. Prosecutors are lawyers who work to put the worst criminals behind bars. Murderers, rapists, arsonists, and pedophiles are just a few of those who are no longer on the street thanks to their efforts. It’s a good bet if you were in trouble, you’d seek the best legal services you could find.