Gov. Doug Ducey reprises gimmicky “court packing”

November 30, 2016

Back in 1937 —  when most of us were but a gleam in our dad’s or granddad’s eye — Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt, just coming off a reelection victory, announced his audacious plan to expand the nine-member U.S. Supreme Court. He touted his scheme as making the court more efficient. Critics, including his  own Vice President and many congressional Democrats who joined with Republicans, charged that Roosevelt was trying to “pack” the court with liberal like-thinkers and  neutralize the impact of Supreme Court justices hostile to his far left “New Deal” — which he feared the court would disassemble.

Here Franklin Roosevelt in one of his radio addresses known as Fireside Chats, makes his case for increasing the number of Supreme Court justices with what he blandly referred to as the “Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.” It became more widely known as “Roosevelt’s court packing plan.”

Fortunately, Roosevelt’s efforts to persuade failed.

Arizona Gov, Doug Ducey faces no such hostility. Yet he has just enlarged the 5-member Arizona Supreme Court by two members. The move gave him the ability to appoint the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, which he can point to in future campaign ads. We take no issue with the appointees Andrew Gould, a former superior court and court of appeals judge, or Solicitor General  John Lopez, who lacks any judicial experience — but the process that placed the two Republicans on the high court is suspect.  The new justices are Ducey’s second and third appointments to the Supreme Court. In January he appointed Libertarian leaning, registered Independent Clint Bolick. According to a news account, the unnecessary expansion will “cost an additional $1 million dollars each year, and came despite objections from Chief Justice Scott Bales, who wrote Ducey to veto the legislation.”  The bill HB 2537, signed by Ducey was the brainchild of East Valley state Rep. J.D. Mesnard, an educator.

The State Courts building, dedicated in 1991, was built to eventually accommodate two additional justices, but there is currently no pressing need.

Ducey used the same argument that Roosevelt used saying the expanded bench would allow the court to take on more cases and ensure swift justice. In fact the Supreme Court, known as the court of last resort, is very selective in the cases it chooses to take and most of the research is done by law clerks. It hears all death penalty appeals.

In contrast, the Courts of Appeals — Arizona has two — review all civil and criminal cases properly appealed from Superior Courts.

Whether court packing is done by Democrats or Republicans, it remains equally suspect.


Judge vindicates Sheriff Arpaio’s workplace raids, upholds law

November 28, 2016

The powerful impact of the vindication of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was buried amid the flurry surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday, as football, recipes for turkey stuffing, and which newly released movie is least dreadful took center stage. But make no mistake.  This. Is. Big.

In his recent ruling U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell said the laws used to back Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s workplace raids will remain on the books, capping off a two-year lawsuit filed by  leftwing Hispanic advocacy groups that claimed Arizona’s identity-theft statutes targeted illegal alien workers.

Judge Campbell appears to have reversed his Jan. 5. 2015 issuance of a  preliminary injunction prohibiting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery from enforcing state law that make it a felony for illegal aliens to use stolen identities to obtain work. This is Arizona’s Proposition 200, passed overwhelmingly — 55.6 to 44.4 — by Arizona voters in 2004, and which became law.

In the newspaper account, the illegals are repeatedly referred to as “immigrants” as though they arrived in the U.S. via the legal route to become American citizens. Judge Campbell, however, correctly identified them as “unauthorized aliens.”

“The laws were passed in part for their effect on immigration by unauthorized aliens,” Judge Campbell wrote, “but the legislature was also addressing a pressing criminal problem that adversely affected Arizona residents.”

This good news comes too late for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who lost his bid for reelection to Paul Penzone, a George Soros backed, spousal abusing Democrat. Penzone received $millions from the multi-billionaire globalist who disdains sovereign national borders and is focused on replacing elected law enforcement professionals across the United States. Sheriff Arpaio has been elected to an unprecedented six 4-year terms.

“I have taken a lot of criticism for going into the businesses, arresting workers that are here illegally,” Arpaio was quoted as saying. “I said from the beginning my main objective was to enforce the ID laws, so I’m very happy that the judge ruled in our favor.”

We recommend you read this News Release, titled “U.S. District Court Rules in Favor of MCAO in Prosecutions Involving Identity Theft Laws,” issued by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.


FBI Dir. Comey caves again — Sunday before election

November 7, 2016

 ….Nothing new here, folks, move on, move on

Released on the Sunday afternoon preceding Election Day, FBI Director James Comey’s terse letter to congress, contains this preposterous sentence: 

“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s cogent response delivered to a crowd of thousands in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Michigan after receiving the news:

‘You can’t review 650,000 new emails in eight days! You can’t do it, folks!’

H/T Video courtesy of The Daily Mail


9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds AZ ballot harvesting law

November 2, 2016

Within short order after the Arizona legislature passed HB 2023 halting the practice of “ballot harvesting,” Gov. Doug Ducey signed it into law. Like clockwork, challenges followed  It eventually made its way to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It was in that reliably left-leaning court that a divided three judge panel on Friday surprisingly voted to uphold the Arizona law, with one judge dissenting.

Justia’s Opinion Summary can be read here.

 Referencing  Arizona’s law, Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote in the 58-page opinion, “Laws like this can strengthen public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process which encourages citizen participation in the democratic process.”

She’s exactly right.

 Chief Judge Sidney Thomas’ long-winded dissent, beginning after the majority affirmation on page 58, is filled with the expected leftwing blather claiming Arizona’s law disenfranchises multitudes of voters, among them minorities, the poor, and the infirm. According to his reasoning, these citizens which he has singled out, have no right to expect an elective system based on ballot integrity.


Need proof that the feds have things bassackwards?

October 26, 2016

Obvious political double standards

When it comes to scandal-plagued and utterly dishonest Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch clandestinely meets on the tarmac of Sky Harbor airport for a tête-à-tête with Hill’s husband Bill aboard a private jet — ostensibly to discuss grandchildren.

And, though  FBI Director James Comey found compelling evidence of concerning issues in Hillary Clinton’s use of multiple private email servers, he concluded that he would not recommend charges against her, though he conceded Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless” in handling classified information. Comey refused to recommend an indictment against Hillary Clinton, despite “evidence” she violated laws pertaining to the handling of classified information, jeopardizing U.S. national security. These breaches occurred during her term as Secretary of State. “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position  should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that information,” Comey acknowledged.

Additionally, Comey noted that other individuals in a similar situation would not necessarily be let off the hook with no charges, and would probably face penalties. “But that’s not what we’re deciding now,” he glibly fed us, the sheeple. “We are expressing to Justice our view that no charges be made in this case.”

“Justice,” of course, is U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the tarmac meeting fame.  Addressing the people of the United States, the FBI director actually said that “no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear” on the investigation. He neglected to mention the inappropriate meeting between former president Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch aboard a private jet.

Hillary Clinton is free to run for the U.S. Presidency, guaranteeing Obama’s third term.

Here in Arizona, we have what clearly appears to be a personal vendetta carried out by a federal judge timed to coincide with the General Election in which popular Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on the ballot running for a seventh term. He was formally charged Tuesday with criminal contempt of court for ignoring U.S. District Judge Murray Snow’s order in a three-year old racial-profiling case. Arpaio acknowledged violating Snow’s order but insists the breach wasn’t intentional

Arpaio’s challenger in the race is once again  rough ‘er up Democrat Paul Penzone, funded by multi-billionaire Socialist George Soros, who is contemptuous of national borders. Soros also funds Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

If convicted, Sheriff Arpaio could face up to six months in jail. A misdemeanor conviction would not bar Arpaio from serving as sheriff.

Sheriff Arpaio’s interview with Lou Dobbs is worth your time:

 


Judging Arizona judges in 2016

October 21, 2016

Judging by searches coming into this site, Arizona voters are interested in how to ‘judge the judges.” Unfortunately, many of the lists floating around the internet are undependable, using politics as the sole determiner.  We all know how unreliable that can be. The U.S. Supreme Court stands as a stunning example. Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor, who then reveled in being the swing vote on the court and as often as not, swung left. When George W. Bush named John Roberts as Chief Justice, conservatives cheered. We rued the day when he was the deciding vote in upholding ObamaCare. Such examples stand as stark reminders that there is no simple barometer to gauge those in black robes.

The Judicial Performance Review Commission — composed of members of the public, attorneys and judges — collects information from everyone who has contact with a judge including litigants, witnesses, jurors and lawyers. This data is used to rate key aspects of each judge’s performance including whether they can apply the law fairly, treat people with respect and manage a courtroom efficiently. Information on the process can be accessed here.

The much heralded “Merit Selection of Judges” enacted in 1974 by voters who were fed skewed information, and which is expanding throughout Arizona as county populations increase, is far from flawless.  We prefer the system that works well in the majority of counties, where the judges stand for election, rather than retention — but like putting toothpaste back in the tube, it’s not going to happen.

The following is the list of courts where judges and justices are up for retention. There is a wealth of information available by clicking on the judges‘ names. Then go a step further to read the “Detailed Report.” It takes some time to sift through, but if you want to vote smart, do it. Your specific ballot will indicate which judges are up for retention.

Arizona Supreme Court 

Court of Appeals Division I 
Court of Appeals Division II 
Superior Court in Maricopa County
Superior Court in Pima County
Superior Court in Pinal County


Irate JP Clancy Jayne displays appalling lack of judgment

August 28, 2016

Cathy Riggs a much more judicious choice for Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace

The Yellow Sheet recently reported that Gov Doug Ducey’s decision to endorse Cathy Riggs in the Desert Ridge Justice of the Peace race did not endear him to incumbent JP Clancy Jayne.  Ducey called Cathy Riggs, “Smart, trustworthy and principled.” Riggs is the wife of Frank Riggs, one of Ducey’s 2014 primary rivals.

Jayne, hardly the picture of either principles or refinement, is quoted as saying he’s “beyond pissed,” calling Ducey, who he says he’s known for 30 years, a “S.O.B.” 

The Yellow Sheet quoted the enraged Jayne describing Gov. Ducey as his gofer saying, “When he drove a beer truck for Hensley and Company, he was running around doing gofer work for me when I was president of Gilbert Days. He was having to go around and do gofer work for me because I got Jim Hensley to be our beer sponsor for the rodeo.”

The qualifications for being a Justice of the Peace don’t present insurmountable hurdles. English literacy, Arizona residency, having attained the age 18, being a registered voter and having a pulse are about it.  Those minimum requirements and a huge permanent campaign sign on a semi-trailer parked along I-17 heading north got Clancy Jayne elected. Cathy Riggs adds considerably to those minimals, with a law degree and experience as a police officer and detective.

Justices of the Peace in Maricopa County currently earn $101,500 — based on a percentage of a Superior Court Judge’s salary. They receive excellent benefits. The part the marginal Clancy Jayne likely revels in the most, is being able to wear black judicial robes. It’s time to put him back in the jeans and denim shirts he previously wore as a rodeo competitor.

On her campaign website, Riggs lists the FIVE times Clancy Jayne was reprimanded by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Sonoran News investigative reporter Linda Bentley has written about Clancy Jayne on numerous occasions. Here are a few revealing reports:

Aug, 2, 2016:   Arizona Chamber sends Clancy Jayne cease and desist letter

July 26, 2016: Clancy Jayne recycles decade-old endorsements in bid for reelection

July 13, 2016: ‘Let’s choose integrity’ for Desert Ridge JP

Aug. 23, 2012: Fourth sanction for Desert Ridge Justice of Peace Clancy Jayne