Arizona Supreme Court

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Arizona Supreme Court
Seal of the Arizona Supreme Court.png
Seal of the Arizona Supreme Court
Established1912
CountryUnited States
Location Phoenix, Arizona
Composition method Missouri plan with retention elections
Authorized by Arizona Constitution
Decisions are appealed to Supreme Court of the United States
Judge term length6 years
No. of positions7
Website Official site
Chief Justice
Currently Scott Bales
SinceJuly 1, 2014
Lead position endsJune 30, 2019

The Arizona Supreme Court is the state supreme court of the U.S. state of Arizona. It consists of a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justices. Each justice is appointed by the governor of Arizona from a list recommended by a bipartisan commission. Justices stand for retention in an election two years after their appointment and then every six years. [1] They must retire at age 70.

In the United States, a state supreme court is the ultimate judicial tribunal in the court system of a particular state. On matters of state law, the decisions of a state supreme court are considered final and binding on state and even United States federal courts.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

Contents

The Chief Justice is chosen for a five-year term by the court, and is eligible for re-election. He or she supervises the administration of all the inferior courts. He or she is Chairman of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, which nominates candidates to fill vacancies in the appellate courts. If the Governor fails to appoint one of the nominated candidates within sixty days of their names being submitted to her or him, the Chief Justice makes the appointment.

The Vice Chief Justice, who acts as Chief Justice in the latter's "absence or incapacity," is chosen by the court for a term determined by the court. [2]

The jurisdiction of the court is prescribed by Article VI, Section 5 of the Arizona Constitution. [3] Most of the appeals heard by the court go through the Arizona Court of Appeals, except for death penalty cases, over which the Arizona Supreme Court has sole appellate jurisdiction. The court also has original jurisdiction in a few other circumstances as outlined in the Arizona Constitution. A quorum is three, but the whole court must sit in order to declare a law unconstitutional. [4]

The Arizona Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state of Arizona. It is divided into two divisions, with a total of twenty-two judges on the court: sixteen in Division One, based in Phoenix, and six in Division Two, based in Tucson.

Capital punishment in the United States Legal penalty in the United States

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the United States, currently used by 30 states, the federal government, and the military. Its existence can be traced to the beginning of the American colonies. The United States is the only developed Western nation that applies the death penalty regularly. It is one of 54 countries worldwide applying it, and was the first to develop lethal injection as a method of execution, which has since been adopted by five other countries. The Philippines has since abolished executions, and Guatemala has done so for civil offenses, leaving the United States one of 4 countries to use this method, along with China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Appellate jurisdiction is the power of an appellate court to review, amend and overrule decisions of a trial court or other lower tribunal. Most appellate jurisdiction is legislatively created, and may consist of appeals by leave of the appellate court or by right. Depending on the type of case and the decision below, appellate review primarily consists of: an entirely new hearing ; a hearing where the appellate court gives deference to factual findings of the lower court; or review of particular legal rulings made by the lower court.

Selection of justices

Arizona Supreme Court Building in downtown Phoenix. Arizona Supreme Court, Phoenix, Arizona - panoramio.jpg
Arizona Supreme Court Building in downtown Phoenix.

Justices are selected by a modified form of the Missouri Plan. A bipartisan commission considers applicants and sends a list of nominees to the governor. The governor is required by law to appoint from this list based on merit, without regard to party affiliation. Justices are then retained for an initial period, after which they are subject to a retention election. If the justice wins the election, his/her term is six years.

The Missouri Plan is a method for the selection of judges. It originated in Missouri in 1940 and has been adopted by several states of the United States. Similar methods are used in some other countries.

A judicial retention election is a periodic process in some jurisdictions whereby a judge is subject to a referendum held at the same time as a general election. The judge is removed from office if a majority of votes are cast against retention.

Qualifications

Justices

The current Arizona Supreme Court includes:

TitleNameAppointmentReaches age 70Law school graduated fromAppointed by
Chief Justice Scott Bales 20052026 Harvard Law School Janet Napolitano
Vice Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel 20102028 University of Arizona Jan Brewer
Associate Justice Ann Timmer 20122030 Arizona State University College of Law Jan Brewer
Associate Justice Clint Bolick 20162027 UC Davis School of Law Doug Ducey
Associate Justice Andrew Gould 20162034 Northwestern University School of Law Doug Ducey
Associate Justice John Lopez IV 20162039 Arizona State University College of Law Doug Ducey
Associate Justice James Beene 2019 University of Arizona Doug Ducey

Court history

The court started in 1912 with 3 justices, they were Alfred Franklin, Donald L. Cunningham, and Henry D. Ross and took office on February 14, 1912. In 1949, the Court expanded from 3 to 5 justices. [6] In 2016, the Court expanded from 5 to 7 justices. [7]

Alfred Franklin American judge

Alfred Morrison Franklin was an American jurist and politician. He was the first chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court and served as a member of Arizona's 1910 constitutional convention.

Donald L. Cunningham American judge

Donald LaFayette Cunningham was one of the original Justices of the Supreme Court of Arizona, serving from February 14, 1912 to January 4, 1921. He served as Chief Justice from January 1918 to December 1929 and served as a member of Arizona's 1910 constitutional convention.

Henry D. Ross American judge

Henry Davis Ross was an American jurist and politician. Before his election to the Arizona Supreme Court, he served as county attorney for both Coconino and Yavapai counties as well as a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature. Following Arizona statehood, he served on the state's highest bench for 33 years and was selected Chief Justice on six different occasions. Ross served the longest tenure in the court's history while his brother, John Wilson Ross, served the shortest.

Chief Justices

See also

Sources

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References

  1. "Format Document".
  2. "Format Document".
  3. "Article 6 Section 5 - Supreme court; jurisdiction; writs; rules; habeas corpus".
  4. "Format Document".
  5. http://www.azcourts.gov/AZ-Supreme-Court
  6. William O. Douglas, Arizona's New Judicial Article, 2 ARIZ. L. REV. 159 (1960).
  7. http://kjzz.org/content/269920/bill-would-add-2-new-justices-arizona-supreme-court