Friday, December 20, 2019

Ducey continues mission to unconstitutionally stack Appellate Commission

Ultimate goal is to undermine the IRC and ensure Republican control

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIXSenator Martin Quezada released the following statement on Governor Ducey's sudden setting of a short deadline for applicants to the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments:

Background: The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments is one of three Arizona judicial nominating commissions and deals with appointments to Arizona's appellate courts, which include the Arizona Supreme Court. Commission members evaluate applicants for vacant judicial positions and then submit a list of candidates from which the governor makes his decision. The Commission also chooses the candidates available for selection by elected officials to the Independent Redistricting Commission, which determines Arizona's congressional and legislative districts every ten years.

The Arizona Constitution states: "In making or confirming appointments to the appellate court commission, the governor, the senate and the state bar shall endeavor to see that the commission reflects the diversity of Arizona's population."
  • Currently Arizona has slightly more women than men, yet only four out of 15 current Commission members are women.
  • Arizona is split in thirds by party registration – Republican, Democratic and Independent – yet there is not a single Democrat on the Commission.
  • 55% of Arizona citizens identify as White, 32% Hispanic, 5% American Indian, 5% Black and 3.5% Asian, yet there is just one person of color serving on the commission.
  • One Republican state senator complained that Governor Napolitano only appointed Democrats to this commission but that is false. She appointed seven Republicans to the commission.

Sen. Quezada
"This blatantly absurd deadline is Governor Ducey's latest move to undermine Arizona's voter-approved Independent Redistricting Commission so districts can be drawn to concentrate Republican control of the legislature and our congressional seats," said Senator Quezada. "We've already seen him unconstitutionally stack the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments with appointees who do not reflect the ethnic and political diversity of our state, as is required by the Arizona Constitution. By announcing a deadline the week before the holidays with a due date immediately after the new year, Governor Ducey has ensured that only applicants with advance knowledge of the due date will be able to prepare and submit their applications."

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