ARIZONA NEWS

Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer named new Arizona Supreme Court chief justice

Jun 21, 2024, 11:15 AM

Headshots of Ann A. Scott Timmer, left, and Robert M. Brutinel. Timmer will officially succeed Brut...

Ann A. Scott Timmer will officially succeed Robert M. Brutinel as chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court on July 1, 2024. (Arizona Judicial Branch Photos)

(Arizona Judicial Branch Photos)

PHOENIX — Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer was named chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday.

Outgoing Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel passed the gavel to Timmer during a ceremony in Tucson.

In addition, Justice John R. Lopez IV was named vice chief justice, succeeding Timmer in the role.

Per state law, the Supreme Court members elect a chief justice and vice chief justice to serve five-year terms.

Timmer and Lopez will officially begin their new duties on July 1, after Brutinel’s term ends.

What does new Arizona Supreme Court chief justice aim to accomplish?

The new chief justice already released the Arizona Judicial Branch’s strategic agenda for the next five years. The plan was produced in conjunction with court staff, judicial officers, Supreme Court committees and other stakeholders.

“I am honored and privileged to serve Arizona as the twenty-seventh Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. During the past year, I have traveled to every county in the state, met with community leaders, and assembled a diverse group of stakeholders to plan where the judicial branch should devote its limited resources during my five-year term,” Timmer wrote in the introductory section of the agenda, which she titled “… and Justice for All.”

The document sets forth the following five goals: expanding and promoting access to justice; maintaining public trust and confidence; protecting children, families and communities; advancing Judicial Branch excellence and innovation; and enhancing professionalism and leadership within our justice system.

Each goal includes a variety of projects, milestones and objectives.

How long has Timmer been on Arizona’s highest court?

Timmer has been a justice on the state’s highest court since 2012, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Jan Brewer. Before then, she spent 12 years as an Arizona Court of Appeals judge, including three years as chief judge.

Timmer becomes Arizona’s fourth female chief justice, joining Lorna E. Lockwood, Ruth McGregor and Rebecca White Berch.

Lockwood made history in 1965 when she became the nation’s first woman to serve as a state chief justice.

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Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer named new Arizona Supreme Court chief justice