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.
State v. Hernandez
Date: October 27, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the opinion of the court of appeals reversing Defendant's conviction on the basis that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to give a Willits instruction under the circumstances of...
Molera v. Hobbs
Date: October 26, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the proponents of an initiative, the "Invest in Education Act," complied with Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-102(A) and gathered enough signatures under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 19-118.01(A) to qualify for the N...
NEKO ANTHONY WILSON v HON. HIGGINS/STATE
Date: October 15, 2020
State v. Soto-Fong
Date: October 9, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that consecutive sentences imposed for separate crimes, when the cumulative sentences exceed a juvenile's life expectancy, do not violate the Eighth Amendment, as interpreted in Graham v. Florida,...
State ex rel. Adel v. Honorable John Hannah
Date: September 25, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Respondent, a superior court judge, erred in concluding that Ariz. R. Crim. P. 24.2 did not bar him from vacating the Enmund/Tison verdict in this case.
Defendant was found guilty of child ab...
JTF Aviation Holdings, Inc. v. CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Date: September 18, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred by concluding that a contractual limitations provision can preclude nonparties to the contract from asserting tort claims that do not arise out of the contractual re...
Clements v. Honorable Deborah Bernini
Date: September 9, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court vacated the order of the trial court appointing a special master to conduct an in camera review of recordings of jail phone calls between Defendant and a criminal defense attorney to determine whether t...
Lohr v. Bolick
Date: September 8, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed in part the decision of the superior court denying Appellant's challenge to the legal sufficiency of Shawnna Bolick's nomination documents, holding that, under the facts of this case, use of a...
ARIZONANS FOR SECOND CHANCES et al v HOBBS
Date: September 4, 2020
State v. Arevalo
Date: September 1, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 13-1202(B)(2), which enhances the sentence for threatening or intimidating if the defendant is a criminal street gang member, is unconstitutional because it increases the defe...
Helvetica Servicing, Inc. v. Pasquan
Date: August 25, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a trial court should consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding a residential purchase loan and identify certain factors in determining whether a loan is a construction loan entitl...
Saguaro Healing LLC v. State
Date: August 20, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the Arizona Department of Health Services' (ADHS) interpretation of Arizona Administrative Code R9-17-303, which governs ADHS's allocation of marijuana dispensary registration certificates, vi...
VINCE LEACH et al v KATIE HOBBS et al
Date: August 20, 2020
JAIME A MOLERA et al v KATIE HOBBS et al
Date: August 19, 2020
State v. Honorable Michael W. Kemp
Date: August 17, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Arizona's statutory framework for adjudicating intellectual disability complies with the constitutional requirements announced in the recent United States Supreme Court cases, Moore v. Texas,...