Ducey finishing interviews for Supreme Court vacancy

    Photo by Jerod MacDonald-Evoy | Arizona Mirror

    Gov. Doug Ducey said he plans to finish interviewing candidates for the Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday, and that he’ll appoint a new justice “sometime soon thereafter.”

    The current appointment process, to replace former Chief Justice Scott Bales, has attracted more attention and scrutiny than usual due to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery’s candidacy for the position. The polarizing county attorney is one of seven candidates, and one of four Republicans, the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments selected as finalists for the job. 

    Three of the seven candidates – Republican Kent Cattani and Democrats Maria Elena Cruz and Andrew Jacobs – were finalists for another vacancy earlier this year following Justice John Pelander’s retirement. Though Ducey already interviewed those three earlier this year, he said had met with them again regarding the current vacancy.

    “Whether they had an interview in the past or not, I’ve re-interviewed them. I want this to be as fresh in my mind as possible,” the governor told reporters Thursday morning.

    Montgomery was a candidate for a different vacancy earlier in the year, but didn’t make the commission’s short list. Ducey ultimately appointed James Beene to fill the seat vacated by Justice John Pelander. Ducey has since replaced several commissioners who voted against Montgomery’s candidate for the previous vacancy. 

    Republicans Sean Brearcliffe and Randall Howe, and Libertarian David Euchner are also candidates for the seat. 

    By law, Ducey has 60 days from the date the commission selects its finalists to appoint a new justice. That date falls on Sept. 24.

    Jeremy Duda
    Associate Editor Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”


    1. Gov. Doug Ducey, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, and the rigging of the Arizona Supreme Court. 8/29/19. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/08/arizona-supreme-court-rigging-doug-ducey-bill-montgomery.html

      “At this stage, there is little Arizonans can do to keep Montgomery off the Arizona Supreme Court. But in 2020, plenty of state Supreme Court justices—including a majority of the Texas Supreme Court—will be up for election. So, too, will governors and lawmakers who play key roles in the composition of state supreme courts. Democrats ignore these races, and their vast ramifications for individual rights and progressive policy, at their own peril. When liberal voters ignore the courts, zealots like Montgomery slip into the seat of power

    2. Ducey is really putting on a dog and pony show, like he is carefully selecting the one who is best qualified.
      Just the fact he appoint JAME P BEENE, the dishonorable judge who couldn’t do his job as a lower court judge judge and do it with any integrity . When a case has NOTHING TO DO with a victim of rape but the corrupt ELIZABETH CAMPBELL AAG , adds that to distract and take the attention off of the issues , that would have tossed this crazy , no case that was manufactured a case . INstead incompetent, Beene , opinion was “she acted as if she knew the rape victim” WHAT THE HELL ??? this was not case about rape not a case that had ANYTHING to do with rape , and IF THIS INCOMPETENT LAZY Beene had READ THE CASE he would have KNOWN that this nurse worked with this person 7 yrs ! a jerk off , collecting big bucks , who could care less of a woman who is put out of work . BTW the COMPLAINT was submitted by another lazy lawyer LARRY SUCUI who did not even LOOK UP TO SEE what he submitted had ANY TRUTH TO IT AT ALL !! Yea Ducey , big mistake, you fool no one !


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