Judges are appointed through a merit process. Judicial candidates are
selected for their legal ability and professional and personal achievements
rather than their mastery of political campaigns.
Applicants for judicial appointment are screened by the Commission on Trial
Court Appointments, a non-partisan committee. The Commission reviews all applications,
interviews candidates and selects finalists whose names are forwarded to the Governor.
The Governor reviews the applications, interviews each finalist and appoints one of them
to the bench.
Superior Court judges in Maricopa County remain in office by the approval of voters in
retention elections. There are no opponents in these elections. Voters cast a "yes" vote
to retain a judge in office. A "no" vote would remove the judge from office. Every two years
each judge undergoes a public review process, including a survey of the judges ability by lawyers,
litigants, jurors and staff. Judges face a retention election every four years.