Ducey expands AZ Supreme Court in costly move

May 19, 2016

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.

“Court packing” double talk from the devious left

April 11, 2016

Linda Valdez, the far-left editorial writer at the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) is having anxiety attacks over what she repeatedly refers to as “packing the court.” A piece of legislation (HB 2537) winding its way through the chambers allows for the addition of two new Supreme Court justices on the Arizona high court, expanding the number from the current five to seven members. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey would make the appointments filling the two vacancies if the bill wins approval.

The court building and bench were constructed to accommodate the increased number of justices.

SRAZ currently takes no position on the plan. But it’s interesting to ponder if Valdez would be so indignant if the date were 1937 and it was the U.S. Supreme Court that was under consideration for expansion to as many as 15 justices.

That was the Machiavellian scheme of Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt who planned to expand the U.S. Supreme Court, allegedly to make it more efficient. Critics charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court and neutralize Supreme Court justices hostile to his radically liberal “New Deal” of overreaching  federal programs. During the previous two years, the high court struck down several key pieces of New Deal legislation on the grounds that the laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch and the federal government.

In an obsessive power grab, Roosevelt then attempted to mandate retirement at full pay for all members of the court over age 70. If a justice refused to retire, an “assistant” with full voting rights was to be appointed, ensuring Roosevelt a liberal majority. Most Republicans and many Democrats in Congress opposed the so-called “court-packing” plan — with the Senate striking it down by a vote of 70 to 22. Ultimately, Roosevelt nominated his first Supreme Court justice, and by 1942 all but two of the justices were his appointees.

Our bet is Linda Valdez would have been all too happy to see such liberal activism from the executive branch in reconfiguring the federal judiciary.

After Franklin Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was passed, officially limiting presidential tenure in office to two terms of four years each.

Valdez doubtless would have opposed that curtailment of the “president for life” measure, as long as the president was a like-minded liberal.

Smithsonian.com has a wealth of information on FDR and his audacious court packing scheme.

Liberal Merrick Garland: dubbed “centrist” by media

March 19, 2016

Jeff Flake calls Obama’s SCOTUS nominee “less liberal”

The media is playing Barack Obama‘s selection of D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court as a “centrist,” but this selection of facts prove him to be quite different from that portrayal:

During a recent interview on NPR, Obama claimed that Republicans are “worried and scared” that their base will “punish them” should they decide to hold hearings and vote on his nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. “The bottom line is that there has not been a coherent argument presented” (against confirmation) by Republicans, Obama said. He further states he expects the GOP to relent on his Supreme Court nominee.

We’ve assembled just a few reasons to be suspicious of Merrick Garland:

Merrick Garland’s anti-Second Amendment stance: Garland’s record on the bench “leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms,” warns Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino. The Washington Times reports Garland has a ‘very liberal view of gun rights.’

More here on National Review.

 Merrick Garland shows deference to labor unions: Garland’s deference has typically proved beneficial to unions. He wrote 22 decisions involving the National Labor Relations Board from 1997 to 2016, according to the legal blog On Labor.

Merrick Garland was mentored by the Supreme Court’s liberal icon: Garland clerked for Justice William J. Brennan Jr., the leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing.

 Merrick Garland  sides with the EPA on environmental regulations: Garland “doesn’t come with any inherent skepticism about the federal government overreaching on environmental regulation,” says Richard Lazarus, an environmental law scholar at Harvard University. And leftist publication Mother Jones has hailed him as the savior of Obama’s “climate legacy.”

Merrick Garland revered the author of Roe v. Wade: During a speech in 2005, Garland referred to the writings of Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, as “a great gift to the country.”

 Jeff Flake is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is among a handful of squish Republicrats who have agreed to meet Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. “I hear nothing but good about him,” said the aptly named Flake, who is a frequent traveling companion and basketball playing chum of Obama’s and is generally deferential to him.

This is Flake‘s memorable quote from this past week: 

“But I said yesterday that if Republicans are not successful in the November election — I hope we are — but if we are not, then we ought to look at this nomination in the lame-duck session in November. I would rather have a less-liberal nominee like Merrick Garland than a nominee that Hillary Clinton if she were president would put forward.”

Medved schemes to obstruct 2016 GOP prez nominee

March 5, 2016

Radio talk show host Michael Medved proclaims his political conservatism, but listening to his weekday program will quickly disabuse anyone but the most naive of that erroneous notion. A law school dropout, he often warmly refers to his short-term Yale law classmate Hillary Rodham and wistfully refers to his days as a liberal, working for left wing politicians — even putting words in their mouths as a speechwriter.  His side career as a movie reviewer is more in keeping with his Hollywoodish liberal leanings. 

On Friday Medved exposed he truth behind his charade when he told a caller he wouldn’t be voting for Donald Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee. The caller reminded Medved that he previously said he would support the Republican candidate. Medved responded by saying he never took a pledge.

Trump is surging due to frustration with the status quo, spineless Republicans holding a majority in both the U.S. House and Senate, who facilitate Obama’s bloated budgets, trade deals, global schemes that penalize the U.S. while giving a pass to third world nations. Americans want their Constitutional rights protected and are tired of executive orders bypassing congress and the flooding of our states with hordes of unvetted mostly young male “refugees” from terror sponsoring nations. They are enraged about losing control of their own healthcare. The lack of political will to close the border with Mexico is fueling ire around the country.

These issues and more have created the perfect storm. Yes, Trump’s undignified manner, goaded by Marco Rubio, is disturbing. Equally so is Kasich’s mulish determination to stay in the race until Ohio‘s primary, in an effort to ensure a brokered convention that will guarantee utter chaos. Rubio ensured his nonentity position as an integral member of John McCain’s amnesty pushing Gang of Eight. 

Trump is far from perfect, but if the election features him against an even less perfect Hillary Clinton, the choice is clear. Another eight years of Obama-like policies imposed by the brazen liar Clinton is entirely unacceptable.  There are sure to be vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court.  A leftward lurch would irretrievably change the direction of our country.  Hillary has even suggested appointing Obama to the Supreme Court.

Medved, who previously supported Jeb! and recently has promoted Marco Rubio, now confirms he’d be fine with Hillary.  Here in Arizona, his program runs from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM on KKNT, 960 AM  “The Patriot.” Insomniacs, with a penchant for self-abuse, can hear the show repeat 1:00 AM – 4:00 AM.

KKNT’s General Manager is Jim Ryan. He can be reached at (602) 955-9600. If you resent having a liberal charlatan masquerading as a conservative while attempting to undermine the presidential election, you might want to give Mr. Ryan a call Monday morning. It’s bad enough to be assaulted by liberalism from the majority of unapologetic media sources.  But when one stands out as promoting conservatism, and in fact does exactly the opposite, we should let the station and advertisers know that it may be time to change their lineup.

Sandra O’Connor comes clean

February 19, 2016

Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sends best wishes to Barack Obama 

During a Wednesday interview with Fox 10 News, retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor chimed in regarding the vacancy on the court’s bench created by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“I think we need somebody there to do the job now and let’s get on with it,” lectured O’Connor. The Arizona lawyer duped President Ronald Reagan into thinking she was a conservative in 1981 when he appointed her as the first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. O’Connor, now 85, reveled in the role of swing vote, frequently breaking with Republican principles and siding with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal former ACLU lawyer and Clinton appointee.

O’Connor said Obama has an important responsibility to fulfill and implied he should not be impeded in his decision. “You just have to pick the best person you can under the circumstances, as the appointing authority must do,” she said. “It’s an important position and one that we care about as a nation and as a people. And I wish the president well as he makes choices and goes down that line.”

Signaling the type of choice Obama will make in replacing Justice Scalia, the man who refused to attend the funeral of conservative British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will not attend Scalia’s memorial service, either — opting instead to travel on Saturday, to visit with the Communist dictator Castro brothers in Cuba. 

AZ Justice Bolick has impartiality problem

February 17, 2016

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.

In announcing the Jan. 6, 2016 appointment of Goldwater Institute lawyer and close Jeb Bush associate, Clint Bolick to the Arizona Supreme Court, Gov. Doug Ducey praised him with these words:

“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.

Aided by Republicrats Obama recrafts judiciary

February 16, 2016

AZ Sens. McCain, Kyl and now Flake continually vote to confirm liberals

With the unexpected death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia over the weekend, America now faces the possibility of the balance of the court being dramatically altered. Barack Obama, who nominated liberals Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the high court, obviously salivates at the opportunity to tilt the court irretrievably leftward.

Republicans now control the senate, where confirmation votes take place. But don’t let that fact give you a sense of security.

2011 saw Jon Kyl gin up support to install yet another liberal on the 9th Circuit — Federal Judge Mary Murguia, whose twin sister Janet is the President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza — “the Race” — a group whose two-sentence motto is chilling to everyone who values equal rights for all: “For the Race everything. Outside the Race, nothing.”  Murguia was nominated to the appellate bench by Obama.  Among the honored guests at the investiture ceremony were none other than Jon Kyl and then-Homeland Security chieftain Janet Napolitano, AZ’s leftist former governor who said with a straight face, “Our border has never been more secure.” Kyl and McCain both voted for Murguia’s confirmation.

In 2012, both of Arizona’s senators stepped front and center supporting the nomination of Andrew Hurwitz, a politically connected, pro-abortion Democrat and AZ Supreme Court Justice — aiding his ascent to the to the already radically left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The daily newspaper was so enthralled, it editorially championed retiring Kyl as a “statesman.”

This endorsement-happy pair also voted in support of the confirmation of Obama’s hand-picked selectee for U.S. Attorney General — the scandal plagued Eric Holder, who ultimately resigned under fire. Twenty-one Republicans voted against Holder, but not these two enablers. They even voted in support of the nomination of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Numerous searches failed to verify the duo’s non-roll call vote on Napolitano, but given their proclivity for supporting leftwing appointees, the greater surprise would be if they didn’t approve her nomination. There is little doubt the unusual unrecorded vote was intended to provide cover.

While they thought you weren’t paying attention, Arizona’s slippery and lowest regarded U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, were busying themselves on the banks of the Potomac with the confirmation of Obama’s liberal picks for federal judges.

On Jan. 11, the Arizona duo voted with the Democrats to confirm Columbian-born Luis Felipe Restrepo to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Obama is fast tracking the former ACLU prisoners’ rights lawyer up from a district court post to which he was confirmed in 2013.

Then on Jan. 19, Wilhelmina Marie Wright, was confirmed as U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota. McCain, soon to be 80 and running for his sixth six-year term, shrewdly backed off of that confirmation, though Jeff Flake abandoned Republicans to approve her nomination. The vote can be seen here. Wright’s confirmation brings the total of appellate judges appointed by Obama to 56.

In his Conservative Review commentary, Senior Editor Daniel Horowitz writes “Senate GOP Must Not Confirm Any More Obama Judges.”

“The notion that Republicans would vote to confirm more Obama judges defies logic on so many levels.  This is one of the few areas where they have no excuse or lack of power to actually use their control of the Senate for good purposes.  Moreover, by confirming more Obama judges, they will not only further exacerbate the growing judicial time bomb of anti-constitutional case-law, but will also prevent the next Republican president from filling those vacancies.” 

Ask yourself…if Democrats controlled the senate, would they vote to confirm conservative federal court nominees the way liberals get a pass from Republican senators? You know the answer.  It’s time to clean house…er…senate.

Democrats balked at Samuel A. Alito Jr., with only four endorsing him in a 58-to-42 vote in January 2006. Barack Obama, then an Illinois Senator joined 24 other Democrats to try to filibuster the nomination of now-Justice Samuel Alito — in a case of pure partisanship, posturing and brinksmanship — something Dems swear they don’t engage in.


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