Arizona Supreme Court Justice Pelander fights effort to oust him
An Arizona Supreme Court justice has taken the highly unusual step of forming a campaign
committee to fight a Republican and “tea party” effort to vote him off the bench.
Fliers and Web postings advocate a “no” vote on retention of Justice John Pelander
because he joined in a Supreme Court decision allowing an initiative that would scrap
the two-party primary system to appear on next month’s ballot.
One of the East Valley fliers states that Pelander voted to uphold the ruling “in the face of
overwhelming evidence of fraudulent signatures collected for Proposition 121.” The statement
was repeated in a tea party post attributed to former state Senate President Russell Pearce.
Pearce could not be reached for comment.
The circular goes on to recommend that all Arizona Court of Appeals judges on this year’s
retention ballot also be voted down because they were appointed by former Democratic
Gov. Janet Napolitano. Some of the postings target Superior Court judges, as well,
especially Napolitano appointees.
Pelander, a Republican who was appointed to the Court of Appeals by then-Gov. Fife Symington,
was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jan Brewer.