MC Justices of the Peace: Diversity prioritized

Although some JP’s have law degrees, others just have a pulse

In a report on Maricopa County’s 26 Justice Courts, the local newspaper has, predictably, tossed credentials aside in order to highlight what it considers most important. Headlined “Maricopa County Justice Courts lead way on representation,” the focus is not on anything even slightly resembling legal knowledge or background. The newspaper’s spotlight shines brightly on “diversity.” Don’t be lulled into thinking this includes diverse ways of addressing the cases that appear before the courts, but rather on the immutable characteristics of the justices of the peace, themselves — genetic factors over which they have no control, but it plays so well into the focus of the failing newspaper.

Ethnicity and gender are always front-and-center issues for the seriously ailing newspaper. Impartially reporting news is backburnered to advancing its leftist messages. This crucial point is all the more evident in the three page article about the JP Courts, which focuses on the purple hair and youth of one JP, who claims her race and appearance puts defendants at ease. She was 24 when she first ran for her job. Another standout is referred to as a Navajo “Two-spirit,” an “indigenous gender-identity that embraces both masculine and feminine spirits.” A former state legislator who ran a gay bar carrying his last name is also featured.

Though justice court judges can oversee civil cases up to $10,000, DUI charges and misdemeanor cases, their qualifications are minimal. In layman’s terms all that’s required is a pulse. According to AZcourts.gov the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, a registered voter in Arizona, reside in the justice court precinct and understand the English language. They are paid a percentage of the salary of a Superior Court judge, along with benefits. JP’s base salaries, excluding weddings for which they are also paid, are over $100,000. Benefits are in addition to the base pay. The types of cases they handle are outlined on azcourts.gov.

5 Responses to MC Justices of the Peace: Diversity prioritized

  1. Arizona Conservative Guy says:

    Being a JP sounds prestigious and the pay and benefits are decent…plus the black robe is impressive. Current JP’s include the husband of the present Phoenix Police Chief, the wife of a former state senator and an ousted former Secretary of State, who succeeded her own father as a JP. It’s a plum perch for the well-connected jobless.

  2. Maggie says:

    The qualifications need to be revised. Those with nothing to recommend them are given too much power.

  3. Villanova says:

    Superior Court and Appellate level judges are all lawyers appointed by the governor after being vetted by a judicial commission. Only the JPs run for their jobs in Maricopa County. Unfortunately, too many people consider them to be actual judges with credentials. This is a strange niche job, which pays well and has an impressive title, but has no actual requirements. SRAZ hit the nail on the head saying all JPs need is a pulse.

  4. Realist says:

    They all must eat a constant diet of fast food and donuts. Quite a few have quadruple chins. They can hide the rest of their bulk under their robes. Saw the article, complete with pictures at our favorite breakfast spot where a couple of editions float around in sections. Fat is now considered an objectionable term, but there’s no denying that’s what many of them are. If they make such poor personal decisions, why should we expect rational decisions in their courts?

    • Claire Voyant says:

      Realist:
      One correction to your spot-on observation. The courts are not “theirs.” They are ours. We fund them, even down to buying their robes and having them dry cleaned. We’re probably also on the hook for their donuts!

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