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High court speeds up challenge to new way of appointing judges

Battle over how judges are appointed could resurface

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track a legal challenge to a law giving the governor a larger selection in appointing judges.

The court held its monthly meeting Tuesday for determining which cases to hear and took the case under advisement, meaning there will be no more briefings or oral arguments.

The law is scheduled to take effect Sept. 12.

The Legislature passed HB2600 in the 2013 session as lobbyists for judges and the courts warned that a lawsuit would certainly be filed unless the voters passed the change. The law increases the minimum number of nominees the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments must send to the governor from three to five. The commission can by a two-thirds vote send just three.

Four members of the commission, represented by a Dream Team of lawyers that includes six former state Supreme Court justices, sued the state, alleging that the change had to come from voters, not lawmakers.

The state countered in court filings that the law was simply procedural change to merit selection and the four commissioners have no standing to bring a claim.

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