Select a State:

State of Arizona

Methods of Judicial Selection: Arizona

Judicial Nominating Commissions

There are three judicial nominating commissions in Arizona: the commission on appellate court appointments, the Maricopa County commission on trial court appointments, and the Pima County commission on trial court appointments. Each commission consists of sixteen members, including five lawyers and ten nonlawyers. The lawyer members are nominated by the board of governors of the State Bar of Arizona and appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The nonlawyer members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. The chief justice or a designated associate justice of the supreme court serves as chair. Commission members must have lived in Arizona for at least five years, and lawyer members must have practiced law in Arizona for five years. No more than three lawyer members and no more than five nonlawyer members may belong to the same political party. Regarding the commission on appellate court appointments, no more than two lawyer members and no more than two nonlawyer members may be residents of the same county. With respect to the commissions on trial court appointments, no lawyer members and no more than two nonlawyer members may be residents of the same supervisorial district. Commission members serve staggered, four-year terms.

When a vacancy occurs, the appropriate commission announces that applications are being accepted. After investigating and interviewing applicants, the commission submits a list of at least three nominees to the governor. No more than 60% of the nominees may be members of the same political party. If the governor fails to appoint one of the commission's nominees within sixty days, the chief justice makes the appointment from the list of nominees. Click here to view the commissions' rules of procedures and here for more information about the commissions. 

For more information, see Judicial Merit Selection: Current Status.