Article 6 of the Arizona Constitution governs the Arizona Supreme Court, which was founded in 1912. Section 5 of Article 6 provides the Court with discretionary authority to review decisions by lower state courts, including Court of Appeals decisions and some Superior Court decisions. The Arizona Supreme Court must review an appeal in a case in which a defendant received the death penalty, but it may decline to review an appeal in any other case. Parties seeking review by the Supreme Court must file a Petition for Review with the Court.
The Arizona Supreme Court consists of seven justices, including a Chief Justice, a Vice Chief Justice, and five Associate Justices. The Governor of Arizona appoints each new justice with the assistance of a nominating commission. To be eligible, a candidate must be under 70, a resident of Arizona for at least 10 years, and licensed to practice in Arizona for at least 10 years. Once a new justice has been appointed, they will serve for at least two years before going through a retention election. Afterward, they will serve for six-year renewable terms. The Chief Justice and the Vice Chief Justice serve in those capacities for five-year renewable terms. A justice cannot hold another public office and cannot participate in any campaigns other than their own.
Removing a justice may involve impeachment by the Arizona House of Representatives in a majority vote and then a conviction by the Arizona Senate in a two-thirds vote. Also, the Arizona Supreme Court may remove a justice if the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct recommends this action.
In addition to hearing appeals, the Arizona Supreme Court oversees the actions of the Arizona Bar Association and the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct. The Chief Justice of the Court also presides over Senate impeachment trials of public officials who are accused of crimes.
Brush & Nib Studio, LC v. City of Phoenix
Date: September 16, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the owners of Brush & Nib Studios, LC (together with Brush & Nib, "Plaintiffs") have the right to refuse to create custom wedding invitations celebrating same-sex wedding ceremonies in violati...
City of Phoenix v. Orbitz Worldwide Inc.
Date: September 9, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: In considering whether online travel companies (OTCs) are subject to municipal privilege taxes under Model City Tax Code (the Code) 444 and 447 the Supreme Court held that the OTCs in this case were subject to taxation u...
State v. Johnson
Date: August 23, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and death sentence for the murder of Xiaohung Fu, holding that none of Defendant's claims of error warranted reversal of his convictions.
Specifically, the Court held (...
Trisha v. Department of Child Safety
Date: August 15, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a parent must provide evidence of a "meritorious defense" to succeed on a Rule 46(E) motion to set aside a severance judgment following a Rule 64(C) acceleration of a final adjudication as a r...
Aguirre v. Industrial Commission of Arizona
Date: August 15, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court set aside an administrative law judge's (ALJ) denial of Gilbert Aguirre's workers' compensation claim for benefits, holding that a claimant does not waive appellate review of the legally sufficiency of...
State v. Johnson
Date: August 13, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for first degree murder, kidnapping, and burglary in the first degree and death sentence, holding that none of Defendant's allegations of error warranted reversal.
State v. Martin
Date: August 9, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction and sentence, holding that trying Defendant a second time for first-degree murder under the circumstances of this case viola...
State v. Champagne
Date: August 7, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and sentences for first-degree murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping, and two counts of abandonment or concealment of a dead body, holding that Defendant's allegation...
Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors of America v. City of Phoenix
Date: July 24, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the superior court denying relief to the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and David Martin (collec...
State v. Malone
Date: July 17, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for premeditated first degree murder, holding that a defendant who introduces expert evidence of a character trait for impulsivity to challenge premeditation cannot intro...
State v. Nunez-Diaz
Date: July 16, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgments of the lower courts concluding that Defendant, an undocumented immigrant, received ineffective assistance of counsel resulting in his mandatory deportation, holding that Defendant...
Sky Harbor Hotel Properties, LLC v. Patel Properties, LLC
Date: June 25, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties the Supreme Court answered questions certified to it by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona by applying common law age...
State v. Jones
Date: May 28, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated Defendant's convictions and sentences arising from his possession of hashish, a form of cannabis resin, holding that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) immunized Defendant's conduct becaus...
Barron v. Barron
Date: May 21, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: In this divorce case, the Supreme Court vacated a portion of the divorce decree providing for an order under Koelsch v. Koelsch, 148 Ariz. 176 (1986), holding that federal law does not permit a state court to order a mil...
Normandin v. Encanto Adventures, LLC
Date: May 17, 2019
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the summary judgment in favor of Encanto Adventures LLC on Marcie Normandin's premises liability claim, holding that Encanto was not immunized by Arizona's recreational use statute, Ariz. Rev....