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.