2004 Ballot Propositions
Arizona Secretary of State
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Guide - PDF
|Judicial Performance Review Voter's Guide - PDF|
2004 VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE
REPORT OF THE ARIZONA COMMISSION
ON JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW
1501 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-3231
Telephone: (602) 364-0098
In 1974, the voters of Arizona decided that Superior Court judges in counties with populations over 250,000 (currently Maricopa and Pima) and all appellate judges on Arizona's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals should first be appointed by the Governor from a list of qualified candidates recommended by a Commission consisting primarily of public members. Thereafter, during periodic elections, Arizona voters would decide whether to retain those judges. As a voter, you determine if the judges should remain in office.
One intent of merit selection is to remove politics from the judicial selection process. Another is to avoid the appearance or possibility of compromising judicial impartiality and integrity if judges are forced to solicit campaign contributions from, among others, attorneys who may practice before them, or people who may someday appear before them in court.
Established in 1992 by an amendment to the Arizona Constitution, the majority of the 34 member Commission is drawn from the public-at-large and the other members are attorneys, judges and legislators. The Commission establishes performance standards for judges, decides whether or not a judge meets those standards, and communicates its findings to you, the voters.
The Commission collects information on judges' performances by distributing written surveys and conducting public hearings for persons who have first-hand knowledge of the job performance of judges appearing on the 2004 general election ballot. The Commission also accepts written comments regarding the performance of judges.
The responses to the surveys are compiled by an independent data center and the results forwarded to the Commission. Its members review all the information on each judge and vote whether the judge met, or did not meet, judicial performance standards. When the Commission votes, the judges' names are encoded so that members do not know which judge they were voting on until all the votes are counted.
The Commission on Judicial Performance Review has the duty to review judges' performances and to provide meaningful and accurate information to the public for its use in making informed decisions regarding retention of merit-selected judges.
Every two years, the job performance of Superior Court judges in Maricopa and Pima Counties is evaluated. The following pages contain evaluations of the job performance of judges who are subject to retention by voters in this election. These evaluations were based on survey results gathered from court staff, jurors, litigants, witnesses, persons representing themselves and attorneys. The score is the total of the evaluators who rated the judge "satisfactory" or "very good" or "superior" in each of the Commission's evaluation categories. Depending on the Superior Court judge's bench assignment, the judge may not have responses in certain categories (indicated by N/A). Verbal testimony given at public hearings, as well as signed, written public comments, are considered by the Commission when voting whether a judge "meets" or "does not meet," judicial performance standards.
The job performances of justices of the Arizona Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges are evaluated using similar methods on a continuous basis. Surveys are distributed to lawyers and other judges who appear before them. Because appellate courts do not hold trials, there are no litigant, witness or juror responses to consider.
The collection of reliable data is key to the success of this evaluation process and the Commission has confidence in the accuracy of the data it has received. The distribution of survey instruments to certain respondent groups, however, was accomplished in a cost-effective process which may not have been, in all respects, in accordance with scientific procedures.
Commission members reviewed, considered, and weighed carefully, the evaluation data from the survey process, public hearings, and written public comments before deciding whether a judge "meets" or "does not meet," judicial performance standards.
Report of the Arizona
Commission on Judicial Performance Review
General Election November 2, 2004
The Ballot Format displayed in HTML reflects only the text of the Ballot Proposition and does not reflect how it will appear on the General Election Ballot.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation were reproduced as submitted in the "for" and "against" arguments.
Arizona Secretary of State
© September 2004