Arizona Secretary of State - Ken Bennett


 
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Judicial Branch
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Superior Courts

Arizona Supreme Court

History

Background

The Supreme Court's primary judicial duties under Article VI, § 5 of the Arizona Constitution, are to review appeals and to provide rules of procedure for all the courts in Arizona. It is the highest court in the state of Arizona and is often called the court of last resort.

The Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction, meaning that the court may refuse to review the findings of the lower court. Cases in which a trial judge has sentenced a defendant to death, however, automatically go to the Supreme Court for review.

Duties

The Supreme Court

  • may choose to review a decision of the court of appeals when a party (the plaintiff or defendant in
    the original case) files a petition for review;
  • always hears the appeal when the superior court imposes a death sentence;
  • regulates activities of the State Bar of Arizona and oversees admission of new attorneys to the
    practice of law;
  • reviews charges of misconduct against attorneys, and has the authority to suspend or disbar them;
    and,
  • serves as the final decision making body when disciplinary recommendations are filed against Arizona
    judges by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The Court’s Role in the Impeachment Process
Impeachment is a political process designed to deal with public officials accused of committing high crimes, misdemeanors, or misconduct in office. The person is charged, tried and, if convicted, removed from office.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over Senate impeachment trials, but renders no decision as to the guilt or innocence of the public official on trial. Formal charges for an impeachable offense are initiated by a majority vote of the Arizona House of Representatives. Conviction for the impeachable offense requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Upon conviction, a public officer is removed from office.  The role of the Supreme Court in the impeachment process is set forth in Article VIII, Part 2, § 1 of the Arizona Constitution.

The Clerk of the Court
The Clerk of the Court performs a myriad of detailed responsibilities in support of the Court's constitutional appellate litigation functions, rule making authority and attorney discipline authority. The Clerk maintains the Court's case files and disseminates the Court's opinions, decisions and orders.

 

Justice Qualifications

Five justices serve on the Supreme Court for a regular term of six years. One justice is selected by fellow justices to serve as Chief Justice for a five year term. In addition to handling case work like the other justices, the Chief Justice oversees the administrative operations of all the courts in Arizona. 

A Supreme Court Justice:

  • Must be admitted to the practice of law in Arizona and be a resident of Arizona for the 10 years immediately before taking office;
  • May not practice law while a member of the judiciary;
  • May not hold any other political office or public employment;
  • May not hold office in any political party;
  • May not campaign, except for him/herself; and,
  • Must retire at age 70.

 

Justices Since Statehood

 

Alfred Franklin 1912-1918
Birth year: 1871
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/14/1912 to 11/13/1918
Chief Justice from 01/1912 to 12/1914, 01/1917 to 12/1917
Time on the bench: Six and a half years

Donald L. Cunningham 1912-1921
Birth year: 1866
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/14/1912 to 1/4/1921
Chief Justice from 01/1918 to 12/1920
Time on the bench: Nine years

Henry D. Ross 1912-1945
Birth year: 1861
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/14/1912 to 2/9/1945,
Chief Justice from 1/1915 to 12/1916, 1/1921 to 12/22, 1/1927 to 12/1928, 1/1933 to 12/1934, 1/1939 to 12/1940, 1/1945 to 2/1945 (deceased)
Time on the bench: 33 years

John Wilson Ross 1918-1919
JOHN WILSON ROSS replaced ALFRED FRANKLIN 11/13/18
Birth year: 1866
Service on the Supreme Court: 11/13/1918 to 1/6/1919
Time on the bench: Eight weeks

Albert C. Baker 1919-1921
ALBERT C. BAKER replaced JOHN WILSON ROSS on 1/6/19
Birth year: 1845
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/6/1919 to 8/31/1921
Time on the bench: Two and a half years

Archibald G. McAlister 1921-1945
Birth year: 1873
ARCHIBALD G. McALISTER replaced DONALD L. CUNNINGHAM on 1/4/21
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/4/1921 to 1/1/1945
Chief Justice from 1/1923 to 12/1926, 1/1931 to 12/1932, 1/1937 to 12/1938, 1/1943 to 12/1944
Time on the bench: 24 years

Edward G. Flanigan 1921-1923
EDWARD G. FLANIGAN replaced ALBERT C. BAKER on 9/28/21
Birth year: 1874
Service on the Supreme Court: 9/28/1921 to 1/1/1923
Time on the bench: One year

Frank H. Lyman 1923-1925
FRANK H. LYMAN replaced EDWARD G. FLANIGAN on 1/1/23
Birth year: 1856
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/1/1923 to 1/1/1925
Time on the bench: Two years

Alfred C. Lockwood 1925-1943
ALFRED C. LOCKWOOD replaced FRANK H. LYMAN on 1/5/25
Birth year: 1875
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/5/1925 to 1/4/1943
Chief Justice from 1/1929 to 12/1930, 1/1935 to 12/1936, 1/1941 to 12/1942
Time on the bench: 18 years

R.C. Stanford 1943-1955
R.C. STANFORD replaced ALFRED C. LOCKWOOD on 1/4/43
Birth year: 1879
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/4/1943 to 1/3/1955
Chief Justice from 2/1945 to 12/1948, 1/1953 to 12/1953
Time on the bench: 12 years

Arthur T. LaPrade 1945-1957
ARTHUR T. LaPRADE replaced ARCHIBALD G. McALISTER on 1/1/45
Birth year: 1895
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/1/1945 to 6/30/1957
Chief Justice from 1/1949 to 12/1950, 1/1955 to 12/1956
Time on the bench: 12 and a half years

Joseph H. Morgan 1945-1947
Birth year: 1884
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/13/1945 to 1/6/1947
Time on the bench: Two years
JOSEPH H. MORGAN replaced HENRY D. ROSS on 2/13/45

Levi S. Udall 1947-1960
LEVI S. UDALL replaced JOSEPH H. MORGAN on 1/6/47
Birth year: 1891
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/6/1947 to 5/30/1960
Chief Justice from 1/1951 to 12/1952, 1/1957 to 12/1958
Time on the bench: 13 years

Evo DeConcini 1949-1953
Birth year: 1901
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/3/1949 to 1/13/1953
Time on the bench: Four years

Marlin T. Phelps 1949-1961
Birth year: 1881
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/4/1949 to 1/1/1961
Chief Justice from 1/1954 to 12/1954, 1/1959 to 12/1959
Time on the bench: 12 years

Dudley W. Windes 1953-1959
DUDLEY W. WINDES replaced EVO DeCONCINI on 1/13/53
Birth year: 1889
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/13/1953 to 1/5/1959
Time on the bench: Six years

1957-1960
J. Mercer Johnson
J. MERCER JOHNSON replaced ARTHUR T. LaPRADE on 9/16/57
Birth year: 1906
Service on the Supreme Court: 9/16/1957 to 9/8/1960
Time on the bench: Three years

1955 to 1982
Fred C. Struckmeyer Jr.
FRED C. STRUCKMEYER JR. replaced R.C. STANFORD on 1/3/55
Birth year: 1912
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/3/1955 to 1/4/1982
Chief Justice from 1/1960 to 12/1961, 1/1966 to 12/1966, 1/1971 to 12/1971, 1/1980 to 12/1981
Time on the bench: 27 years

1959 to 1969
Charles C. Bernstein
CHARLES C. BERNSTEIN replaced DUDLEY W. WINDES on 1/5/59
Birth year: 1905
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/5/1959 to 1/2/1969
Chief Justice from 1/1962 to 12/1963, 1/1967 to 12/1967
Time on the bench: 10 years

1960 to 1972
Jesse A. Udall
JESSE A. UDALL replaced LEVI S. UDALL on 6/15/60
Birth year: 1893
Service on the Supreme Court: 6/15/1960 to 1/15/1972
Chief Justice from 1/1964 to 12/1964, 1/1969 to 12/1969
Time on the bench: 11 and a half years

1960
Robert O. Lesher
ROBERT O. LESHER replaced J. MERCER JOHNSON on 9/20/60
Birth year: 1921
Service on the Supreme Court: 9/20/1960 to 12/11/1960
Time on the bench: Two and a half months

1960 to 1964
Renz L. Jennings
RENZ L. JENNINGS replaced ROBERT O. LESHER on 12/12/60
Birth year: 1899
Service on the Supreme Court: From 12/12/1960 to 8/5/1964
Time on the bench: Three and a half years

1961 to 1975
Lorna E. Lockwood
LORNA E. LOCKWOOD replaced MARLIN T. PHELPS on 1/1/61
Birth year: 1903
Service on the Supreme Court: From 1/1/1961 to 9/15/1975
Chief Justice from 1/1965 to 12/1965 [First female chief justice in the United States], 1/1970 to 12/1970
Time on the bench: 14 years

1964 to 1965
Edward W. Scruggs
EDWARD W. SCRUGGS replaced RENZ L. JENNINGS on 8/5/64
Birth year: 1904
Service on the Supreme Court: From 8/5/1964 to 1/3/1965
Time on the bench: Five months

1965 to 1971
Ernest W. McFarland
ERNEST W. McFARLAND replaced EDWARD W. SCRUGGS on 1/4/65
Birth year: 1894
Service on the Supreme Court: From 1/4/1965 to 1/4/1971
Chief Justice from 1/1968 to 12/1968
Time on the bench: Six years

1969 to 1987
Jack D.H. Hays
JACK D. H. HAYS replaced CHARLES C. BERNSTEIN on 1/4/69
Birth year: 1917
Service on the Supreme Court: From 1/4/1969 to 1/5/1987
Chief Justice from 1/1972 to 12/1974
Time on the bench: 18 years

1971 to 1992
James Duke Cameron
James Duke Cameron

JAMES DUKE CAMERON replaced ERNEST W. McFARLAND on 1/4/71
Birth year: 1925
Moved to Arizona: 1925
Died: May 23, 2003
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/4/1971 to 2/1/1992
Chief Justice: 1/1975 to 12/1979
Time on the bench: 21 years
Other judicial experience: Court of Appeals - Divison One (Former Chief Judge), 1965-1971

1972 to 1989
William A. Holohan
WILLIAM A. HOLOHAN replaced JESSE A. UDALL on 1/17/72
Birth year: 1928
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/17/1972 to 1/2/1989
Chief Justice: 1/1982 to 1/1987
Time on the bench: 17 years

1975 to 1992
Frank X. Gordon, Jr.
FRANK X. GORDON, JR. replaced LORNA E. LOCKWOOD on 9/16/75
Birth year: 1929
Service on the Supreme Court: 9/16/1975 to 1/6/1992
Chief Justice: 1/1987 to 1/1992
Time on the bench: 16 and a half years

1982 to 2002
Stanley G. Feldman
STANLEY G. FELDMAN replaced FRED C. STRUCKMEYER JR. on 1/19/82
Birth year: 1933
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/19/1982 to 12/10/2002
Chief Justice: 1/1992 to 1/1997
Time on the bench: 20 years

1987 to 1998
James Moeller
JAMES MOELLER replaced JACK D. H. HAYS on 2/23/87
Birth year: 1933
Service on the Supreme Court: 3/13/1987 to 1/31/1998
Time on the bench: 11 years

1989 to 1996
Robert J. Corcoran
Robert J. Corcoran
ROBERT J. CORCORAN replaced WILLIAM A. HOLOHAN on 1/5/89
Birth year: 1934
Service on the Supreme Court: 1/5/1989 to 2/29/1996
Time on the bench: Seven years
Other judicial experience: Court of Appeals - Divison One, 1981-1989; Maricopa County Superior Court Judge, 1976-1981

1992 to 2002
Thomas A. Zlaket
THOMAS A. ZLAKET replaced FRANK X. GORDON JR. on 2/3/92
Birth year: 1941
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/3/1992 to 4/30/2002
Vice Chief Justice: 1996 to 1/1997
Chief Justice: 1/1997 to 1/2002
Time on the bench: 10 years

1992 to 2002
Frederick J. Martone

FREDERICK J. MARTONE replaced JAMES DUKE CAMERON on 2/28/92
Birth year: 1943
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/28/1992 to 1/30/2002
Time on the bench: 10 years

1996 to 2005
Charles E. Jones
Charles E. Jones

CHARLES E. JONES replaced ROBERT J. CORCORAN on 4/26/96
Birth year: 1935
Service on the Supreme Court: 4/26/1996 to 6/10/2005
Vice Chief Justice: 1/1997 to 1/2002,
Chief Justice: 1/2002 to 6/10/2005
Time on the bench: Nine years

1998 to 2009
Ruth V. McGregor
Ruth V. McGregor

RUTH V. McGREGOR replaced JAMES MOELLER on 2/13/98
Birth year: 1943
Service on the Supreme Court: 2/13/1998 to 6/30/2009
Vice Chief Justice: 1/2002 to 6/11/2005
Chief Justice: 6/12/2005 to 6/30/2009
Time on the bench: 11 years
Other judicial experience: Court of Appeals - Divison One, 1981-1998

2002 to present
Rebecca White Berch
Rebecca White Berch
REBECCA WHITE BERCH replaced FREDERICK J. MARTONE on 3/13/02
Birth year: 1955
Service on the Supreme Court: 3/13/2002 to present
Vice Chief Justice: 6/11/2005 to 6/30/2009,
Chief Justice: 7/1/2009 to present

2002 to present
Michael D. Ryan
Michael D. Ryan

MICHAEL D. RYAN replaced THOMAS A. ZLAKET on 5/22/02
Birth year: 1945
Service on the Supreme Court: 5/22/2002 to present

2003 to present
Andrew D. Hurwitz
Andrew D. Hurwitz

ANDREW D. HURWITZ replaced STANLEY FELDMAN on 3/17/03
Birth year: 1947
Service on the Supreme Court: 3/17/2003 to present
Vice Chief Justice: 7/1/2009 to present

2005 to present
W. Scott Bales
W. Scott Bales
SCOTT BALES replaced CHARLES E. JONES on 8/29/05
Birth year: 1956
Service on the Supreme Court: 8/29/2005 to present

2009 to present
A. John Pelander

A. John Pelander
JOHN PELANDER replaced RUTH V. McGREGOR on 9/08/09
Birth year: 1951
Service on the Supreme Court: 9/8/2009 to present