By Michael Bryan
Governor Brewer just made her selection to replace Justice Hurwitz on the State Supreme Court: Arizona Appeals Court Judge Ann Scott Timmer.
Judge Timmer will make a fine Supreme Court Justice and is highly qualified for the Supreme Court. The reason she was picked is that she was one of three highly qualified candidates selected by the current merit selection system.... which the Republicans want voters to abolish with Prop 115.
Instead of a professional commission making recomendations of highly qualified applicants, judicial selection would become a highly political back-room deals, with judges serving limited terms at the pleasure of the powers that be - a recipe for a more politicized judiciary beholden to special interests instead of justice and professionalism.
One wonders how Judge Timmer would have fared under the system the GOP wants us to adopt?
Just four years ago, a conservative, self-appointed watch-dog website, Arizona Judges Review, rated the Appeals Court on which Judge Timmer sat. Their evaluation of Judge Timmer (a Republican) was that she was "very liberal", apparently because of her exemplary legal advice and accumen (for which she was given an official commendation by the Speaker of the Arizona House, also a Republican) as legal counsel for the Mecham impeachment, and her professional asssociations with "left-leaning" legal groups like the Women Lawyers Association and Community Legal Services. As far as I can tell, they did no survey of collegues, attorneys, or litigants, or any analysis of her record on the bench to arrive at this spurious conclusion.
Given the shallow, meaningless, and guilt-by-association standards by which political hacks evaluate judicial fitness, it seems to me quite insane for voters to allow such political biases to be the basis on which we select our judges.
Vote "NO" on Prop 115. Keep the system which advances highly qualified judges like Judge Timmer to our bench, and keep political hacks out of judicial selection.