Cutting Out The Middle Man 101: Goldwater Institute lawyer seeks seat on the AZ Supreme Court

By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

…If this works, maybe a Mob capo will apply for a deputy or associate director job at the FBI…

For a long time now, Arizona’s Judicial Branch has been the only branch of government in Arizona that garners any national respect.

It seems like that in every legislative session, there are efforts to make the state’s judicial branch more subject to the whims (and whimsy) of the state legislature and governor (2015, 2012, 2011…I could keep this going for a long time, but since I would like to complete this post, I’ll just go with “you get the picture”).

Those usually fail, so certain people appear to be taking a more direct approach to subverting the judiciary.

While not perfect (nothing is, but the AZ judicial branch does a good job of cleaning up its own messes), Arizona’s judicial branch is seen as honest, fair, and professional…something that will change soon if the Goldwater Institute, a Koch Brothers affiliate, gets their way.

From Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, via Arizona Capitol Times

Gov. Doug Ducey is getting his first chance to put his imprint on the state’s high court.

A dozen attorneys and lower court judges have applied to replace Rebecca Berch who is retiring. The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will meet later this month to winnow down the list and decide who to interview and, ultimately, who to nominate.

Press aide Daniel Scarpinato said Ducey does have some ideas about who should serve on the Supreme Court.

“Some of the qualities that are important to the governor are an individual with a reputation with outstanding legal ability, someone with integrity and also the temperament for a job where you need to be calm under pressure and be thorough and be thoughtful,” he said. He also said Ducey said he wants someone who “treats people with respect,” whether as an attorney working with clients or lower court judge dealing with litigants.

And Scarpinato said Ducey believes it’s important for to appoint someone “that understands the three distinct branches and the separation of powers.”

{snip}

The applicants are:

– Clint Bolick, 57, from Maricopa County, an attorney with the Goldwater Institute. He has been a political independent since 2003 but prior to that was registered as a Republican;

For more than two decades, Bolick and the Goldwater Institute (and other organizations affiliated with Bolick) have at the forefront of efforts to undermine civil society (attacks on public education, public employees, workers’ rights, etc.) for the benefit of deep-pocketed private interests (corporations, the Koch brothers, etc.).

Given Bolick’s success at subverting both the executive and legislative branches, turning them from instruments focused on working for the public interest to ones focused on working for private interests, Scarpinato’s quote about “separation of powers” could be telling –

If they (meaning Ducey and the Arizona legislature) are looking for someone to hobble the state’s judicial branch to keep them from interfering with the depredations visited upon civil society by Ducey et. al., then Bolick may just be the perfect choice*.

 *For them, but not necessarily for the people of Arizona.

Background on the Goldwater Institute here, courtesy the Center for Media and Democracy.

The applications themselves are available here; Bolick’s makes him sound like Mother Theresa with a JD.

2 Responses to Cutting Out The Middle Man 101: Goldwater Institute lawyer seeks seat on the AZ Supreme Court

  1. Meaney, does the public have an opportunity to comment on any of the nominees or the process of selection?