Q&AZ: How Are Arizona's Superior Court Judges Selected?

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Thursday, January 2, 2020 - 6:05am
Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 11:33am

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Maricopa County court
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Maricopa County Superior Court building in downtown Phoenix.

A listener wanted to know about Superior Court judges in Arizona and how they’re selected for office.

Maricopa, Pima, Pinal and Coconino counties use a merit-based system.

Arizona Supreme Court spokesman Aaron Nash says when there is a vacancy, residents in those counties apply to a commission, whose members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate.

“They bring the candidates in for public interviews, and then that commission sends a short list to the governor who appoints the judge to that vacancy,” Nash said.

State law specifies how the commission members are to be selected.

In all other Arizona counties, the judges run and are elected to their posts.

Superior Court judges hear a variety of cases including civil, criminal, tax court, and protective orders cases.