Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Information on retention of judges

We have been asked about how difficult it will be to oust a judge from office through a retention election. A judge simply needs to receive a majority of yes votes cast in his/her race in order to be retained. According to the AZ Commission on Judicial Performance Review, there would need to be a 127,500 vote difference (127,500 voters who vote yes for the average judge would need to change their vote to no).

For an excellent summary of the problem with retention elections, see the Center for Arizona Policy's analysis. Also, the nobadjudges.com website targeted two judges in 2004, but had little success, swaying only 23,000 votes. Unfortunately it was not launched until after early ballots had gone out in the mail. This website was launched prior to that, although we haven't fully obtained all of the information we'd like to provide, the attorneys we talk to are terrified of the Arizona State Bar investigating them if they criticize judges.

Look at the criteria used by the commission to rate judges. It's incredulous that there is nothing about judicial philosophy or judicial activism, the most important issues to most voters. (this link goes to the commission's review of Judge Crane McClennan, the only judge they chose not to recommend retaining). They may as well rate a judge's "friendliness" and "personal hygiene," those shallow criteria could be slipped into the list without anyone noticing.


Anonymous said...

This was a fantastic recourse since I knew very little about most of these judges.

Anonymous said...

Help put an end to Judicial Corruption in Pima County by voting NO to retaining Pima County Judge Clark Munger on November 4th, 2008.