AZ Judicial Commission recommends not retaining two judges – but are they right?

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Wednesday,  October 29th, 2014

Two judges not recommended due to “temperament,” vague criteria

Disgruntled attorneys who lost cases in front of them likely big part of the reason for poor reviews

Contributed by a reader

 

In the past, the Arizona Judicial Commission has rarely recommended not retaining any judges – which is obviously greatly flawed, considering all the judicial activism and political targeting that goes on. The commission is run by leftist busybodies tied to the State Bar, so this is no surprise. It contains attorneys/judges like Robert Carter Olson, considered one of the crookedest judges in the state.

 

Note that virtually all of the judges receive a unanimous YES from all 29 members of the commission. What does that tell you? They’re not thinking independently; everyone is scared to death of voting against a judge because of the risk of retaliation.

 

Let’s look at the commission’s history. The last time the commission actually recommended not retaining one judge, it was the wrong decision.The full story behind their recommendation not to retain Judge Crane McClennan has been covered by the conservative website azjudgesreview here and here. What it came down to was left-wing criminal defense attorneys didn’t like him.

 

This year, the commission is recommending not retaining Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Benjamin Norris and Pima County Superior Court Judge Catherine Woods. Let’s look at the evidence. Both judges received poor marks for “temperament” and “communications.” Not even the vague word “ethics.” They are being accused of not having the right personality. Are you kidding??? What about factors like judicial activism, targeting or favoritism, the real things that matter?

 

Let’s look a little closer at their background and qualifications. Woods was appointed by Governor Brewer in 2011 – ok, probably a Republican, that makes sense why she’s on their hit list. She is a juvenile judge. Nothing in her bio jumps out to us as a problem, in fact it’s fairly impressive. The commission lists nothing other than that against her. Tellingly, their opinion is based on the fact that 21 out of 106 attorneys returned scores of 60 to 88% about her temperament, etc. Just TWENTY-ONE attorneys. What you’re not hearing is that of the 7 out of 89 litigant witnesses who returned surveys about her, ALL SEVEN gave her 100% scores. That’s right. Who do you believe, some attorneys who may have represented the losing party in a case in front of her, or witnesses who likely have nothing to gain financially or professionally?

 

It sounds to us like the good ole boys club looking out for the good ole boys club. The busybody attorneys on the commission are looking out for their buddies – Democrat attorneys – who lost their cases in front of this Republican judge.

 

Next, let’s examine the other attorney the commission recommended not to retain. Norris was appointed in 2008 by Napolitano and has been a family law judge. A quick google search reveals that he appears to be biased against fathers in custody cases. The votes against him are worse, 35 out of 93 attorneys returned surveys rating him from 59% to 84% in various areas. 42 out of 398 litigant witnesses returned surveys rating him from 86% to 96%. Four attorneys rated him as unsatisfactory when it came to fairness towards gender.

 

Based on a more objective analysis that takes into account a conservative political perspective, we’d recommend retaining Woods and not retaining Norris. More GOP recommendations on voting for judges can be found here. With such a lack of real information about judges, the system needs to be changed to electing judges, not appointing them with low-information retention elections.

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