Arizona judicial review panel says 1 judge up for retention in 2024 doesn’t meet standards

Apr 30, 2024, 2:00 PM

Exterior view of the Arizona state court building in Phoenix....

This file photo shows the Arizona State Courts Building in Phoenix. The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review released its recommendations for justices and judges up for retention in 2024 on Monday, April 29. (Facebook Photo/Arizona Supreme Court)

(Facebook Photo/Arizona Supreme Court)

PHOENIX – The Arizona judicial review panel gave passing grades to all but one of the judges eligible for retention votes in the 2024 general election.

The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review (JPR) met Friday to make their recommendations for two state Supreme Court justices, four Court of Appeals judges and 66 Superior Court judges.

The panel voted after reviewing 14,000 surveys from jurors, witnesses, litigants, attorneys and court staff, plus written comments and remarks from a public hearing. The results were released Monday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Jo Lynn Gentry was the only person up for retention this year who didn’t meet the commission’s standards. However, Gentry told the Arizona Republic she isn’t seeking reelection and will retire at the end of the year.

What is Arizona’s judicial review commission?

The JPR commission was created in 1992 to develop judicial standards and conduct performance reviews ahead of retention elections.

Arizona’s judges and justices are appointed to six-year terms by the governor, but they must stand for retention elections when their terms expire.

The panel can’t remove a judge or justice from office, but it determines which ones meet performance standards. Voters can use the JPR findings as guidance when filling out the retention section of their ballots.

Which Arizona Supreme Court justices are up for retention in 2024?

Clint Bolick and Kathryn H. King are the two state Supreme Court members up for retention this year. They were among the four justices who voted to uphold a near-total abortion ban that originated in 1864, before Arizona was a state.

Progress Arizona, a progressive activist group, launched a campaign to encourage voters to reject Bolick and King because of their abortion decision.

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Arizona judicial review panel says 1 judge up for retention in 2024 doesn’t meet standards