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Bender quoted in ‘Arizona Republic’ on Brewer’s Republican courts
, professor and Dean Emeritus at the College of Law, was quoted in an article in
The Arizona Republic
written by Michael Kiefer on Friday, Sept. 30, titled “Brewer fills Arizona courts With Republican judges.”
Gov. Jan Brewer has appointed a significantly higher number of judges from her own political party than the three previous Arizona governors. Since taking office in 2009, Brewer has appointed 38 judges, 35 of whom are Republicans, according to Kiefer’s article.
Despite one party’s dominance of appointments, the Arizona Supreme Court has generally been nonpartisan and often votes unanimously, Bender said.
"The level of unanimity is really striking when you compare it to the U.S. Supreme Court," Bender said. "When you look at them and their decisions, I can't think of any time when the Democrats voted one way and the Republicans another. It is as nonpolitical as the courts can be."
According to Bender, the real issue may lie in court funding.
"They are afraid of the Legislature cutting off their funds, and they are afraid the governor will take over," he said.
Bender said this may influence judges and justices to be more cautious in their rulings than they normally would be.
Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is coauthor of the two-volume casebook/treatise, “Political and Civil Rights in the United States.” He has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.
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