Gavel Grab

Arizona Governor Signs Change to Merit Selection Process

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed legislation to change the way top judges are selected. It increases from three to five the number of candidates that a judicial vetting commission recommends to the governor for vacancies on the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Republicans who want to revise Arizona’s merit-based judicial selection process had pushed for the change (see Gavel Grab). The new law does not go nearly as far as Brewer, a Republican, would like according to a Capitol Media Services article; she has stated that she prefers a federal-style system whereby a governor appoints judges subject to Senate confirmation.

Some legislators contended the measure would be unconstitutional. A challenge of its constitutionality would go to the state Supreme Court. The Senate approved the measure last week, according to a separate Capitol Media Services article.  

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