What do you, the loyal Hastings & Hastings blog reader, know about the Judicial Nomination Commission and the process of nominating justices to the various Arizona courts? The odds are, you don’t know a lot. And that is normal. But we are here to change that.
For over 30 years, Arizonans have had an influential voice in the selection process of potential justices. That is right, you, the Arizona citizen can have can actually have an impact on selecting the judicial applicants who appear in front of Governor Doug Ducey when it comes time to nominate a new justice.
Before applicants interview with the governor, they must be approved by the Judicial Nominating Commission, which is a nonpartisan commission which investigates and evaluates judicial applicants. The commission is comprised of ten public citizens and five practicing attorneys. The commission is chaired by the sitting Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. In assembling the commission, members are gathered from diverse areas and across a wide range of perspectives, and backgrounds.
Participating as a member of the nomination commission is not the only way that private citizens can have a voice in the judicial nomination process. The Commission on Court Appointments ask for public comment on any and all judicial applicants.
On August 26, the Commission will be reviewing the candidacy of eight applicants for an opening on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals. Interested parties can view the candidate’s applications here, on the Commissions website.
The public is encouraged to comment on and ask questions of the candidates. The written questions and comments will be reviewed and potentially brought to the candidates during the interview process.
By utilizing this opportunity, anyone, including you, can have a voice in the judicial nomination process.