Commission will evaluate judges - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Commission will evaluate judges

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Posted: Monday, July 12, 2004 9:42 am | Updated: 5:18 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

It’s time to judge the judges.

On Wednesday, the 34-member Commission on Judicial Performance Review will meet to decide whether judges in Maricopa County Superior Court and the Arizona Court of Appeals meet judicial standards.

The commission’s findings will be published in the secretary of state’s voter publicity pamphlet before the Nov. 2 general election, when voters will decide whether 40 Maricopa County Superior Court judges, eight appellate judges and three Arizona Supreme Court justices should remain on the bench. Pima County will also hold retention elections for its respective Superior Court and appellate judges.

The commission will base its findings on comments from the public at meetings and letters and surveys of court users, said Judy Pfau, the commission’s program manager. The public also may comment at Wednesday’s meeting.

Data reports and the voter pamphlet will be posted on the commission’s Web site,, within a week after Wednesday’s meeting, Pfau said.

"We just want early voters to be very aware that it’s there and they can get that information and not just go, ‘Oh, my gosh, who are these people,’ " Pfau said.

Arizona’s governor chooses who sits on the Superior Court bench in Maricopa and Pima counties, but judges must gain voter approval every four years to keep their jobs.

Voters in Arizona’s remaining 13 counties choose Superior Court judges at the ballot box.

Justices of the peace are also elected while municipal judges are not, and the commission does not evaluate them.

Judicial review

What: Judicial review meeting, including public comment

When: 10 a.m. Wednesday

Where: Room 345 of the Arizona State Courts Building, 1501 W. Washington St., Phoenix

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