Governor Doug Ducey appointed two breand spanking new justices to the Arizona Supreme Court this week after signing a law back in May which expanded the court from five justices to seven.
The Governor appointed John R. Lopez and Andrew Gould to the highest court in the state making them his second and third appointments to the bench. John R. Lopez served as Ducey’s Solicitor General and becomes the first Hispanic ever on the court, while Andre Gould is an experiences jurist from the Arizona Court of Appeals.
The appointments however are controversial not because of the people picked, but because the appointments were made at all. Critics view the move as a play to stack the court, similar to FDR’s unsuccesfull attempts with the U.S. Supreme Court. Ducey’s spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told AZ Central that Ducey made the appointments:
with a very open mind,” and was “looking for people who want to be part of the judicial branch, and not the legislative branch.” They will be judges who enforce laws as written, and “not creating” new laws.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 28, 2016
According to Tucson.com the opposition to the move from the sitting members of the court was unanimous:
“Additional justices are not required by the court’s caseload,” Chief Justice Scott Bales wrote to Ducey earlier this month. “And an expansion of the court (whatever people may otherwise think of its merits) is not warranted when other court-related needs are underfunded.”