Monday, October 27, 2008

AZ Bar magazine features article on judicial retention

Was quite amused to see the front page cover of Arizona Attorney magazine this month, "Judicial Retention: The Verdict after 30 Years." To its credit, the article admits that it is virtually impossible to vote a judge out under a retention election system, and the Judicial Performance Review Commission rubberstamps every judge - in 2006, the last year recorded, all 64 judges up for retention received an average mean score of 99.6%! Not a single judge scored below 75. Judges only need a 50% approval vote among those who cast votes in their race in order to be retained.

The JPR Commission used to rate more judges poorly, back when judges were elected, not appointed like they are now. That was because the Commission actually knew more about the judges, based on their campaigns for office - the judges had opponents who could do opposition research on them and get it out publicly. Now the Commission knows very little about the judges when they come up for retention.

This article reinforces our opinion - as well as most conservatives' opinions - that the reviews provided by the Commission aren't worth your time reading.

In the future, until we move to a system of electing judges or at least requiring legislative confirmation, we recommend that the Voter Information Pamphlets include links to websites like this which provide reviews of the judges - not just the JPR Commission's fluff review.

We find it amusing that AZ Attorney didn't even bother mentioning this website. Even though AZ Judges Review is the only website in Arizona comprehensively reviewing the judges, and even though AZ Attorney's own article acknowledges the JPR Commission's review is worthless since judges receiving 99.6% scores, and even though it's pretty obvious to us the reason the AZ Bar decided to run a piece on judicial retention is because of the stir this website is creating (we're well over 1000 unique visitors per day thanks to J.D. Hayworth), the AZ bar is so biased they refuse to provide information to educate voters if it goes against their politically correct agenda.

(the AZ Attorney article will be available shortly here)

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