Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick makes a paltry appeal to keep his job

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick was one of four members of the court who decided to uphold the state’s barbaric 160-year-old abortion ban, and to do so in a year when he and Justice Kathryn H. King, who also voted to restore the ban, are up for retention.

Arizona law requires judges to periodically appear on the ballot in order to be retained — or not — by voters.

Many of those voters were upset by the court’s decision. So much so that a group called Progress Arizona began organizing a campaign to unseat King and Bolick.

In a long op-ed for The Arizona Republic, Bolick makes an argument for why such a thing would be a bad idea. His essay is very much worth reading.

Bolick worries about partisan ‘hijacking’

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick

Bolick says in it that “weaponizing judicial retention will be a disaster.”

He says that “partisan special-interest groups are hijacking the retention process.”

He says that Arizona’s judicial merit selection system for appointing judges is “one of our state’s crown jewels” and that citizens throwing out judges because they disagree with a particular decision would be wrong, that it would over-politicize the court.

That’s what he says, and I have no problem with it.

The problem is what Bolick doesn’t say.

Bolick is a justice, thanks to politics

For example, the judge doesn’t say that the court is already heavily politicized.

He doesn’t say that he got the job when former Gov. Doug Ducey made the very political decision to pluck Bolick, who had not been a judge, from the politically hard-right Goldwater Institute and make him a justice.

Arizona voters: Can reap their wrath on Supreme Court justices

He didn’t say how Ducey further politicized the court by getting the Republican-controlled Legislature to increase the number of justices from five to seven, and then packed it with political cronies.

Even after the chief justice at the time said expansion was not necessary.

There’s also the part where Bolick in his essay portrays himself as “independent,” an in-name-only description if there ever was one.

If we vote him out, we’re also following the law

This is a man who, before becoming a justice, once festooned himself with fake dreadlocks as part of an ersatz Bob Marley Rastafarian get up, then stood on a stage and performed a youthful reggae parody in which he denigrated, among others, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Democrats in general, and teachers unions.

Bolick said that he and the other justices upheld that draconian territorial abortion ban weren’t making a policy decision, but simply following the law.

Well, voters deciding to retain — or not retain — judges, for whatever reason they choose, is also the law.

No one, particularly a judge, should whine when citizens decide to follow it.

Reach Montini at [email protected].

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona abortion ban judge makes paltry appeal to keep his job