State courts have become battlegrounds for often-acrimonious and sorely political fights over control, and the struggle in Washington over filling a Supreme Court vacancy mirrors the conflict in the states, City Editor Tim Wiederaenders writes in a (Prescott, Arizona) Daily Courier opinion.
Wiederaenders relies on an Associated Press article this week (see Gavel Grab) spotlighting partisan political efforts in both state elections and in state capitals to control fair and impartial courts. In Arizona, a bill is advancing in the legislature to expand the state Supreme Court from five to seven justices, a step that Justice at Stake has denounced as “court packing.”
Also, the Arizona Senate is set to vote on House-passed legislation that would bar state courts, among others, from enforcing actions of the United States government — including its courts — that constitute “commandeering” of state officials.
According to Gavel to Gavel, a publication of the National Center for State Courts, “the ‘anti-commandeering’ law would allow the legislature to order state and local officials not to ‘enforce, administer, or cooperate with any action of the United States government that constitutes commandeering.’”