Public trust in courts is low. This Arizona Supreme Court justice says the narrative is the problem

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, November 9, 2023 - 10:54am
Updated: Thursday, November 9, 2023 - 11:14am

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Clint Bolick
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Clint Bolick speaks with attendees at a “Preserving Liberty” event hosted the ASU Political History and Leadership program in Scottsdale on Nov. 19, 2021.

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Bill Montgomery says he won’t recuse himself from a landmark case that could decide the future of abortion rights in Arizona — even though he has spoken out publicly against one of the parties involved in the past. The case will decide if a current 15-week abortion ban should remain state law or if an 1864 near-total ban on abortions should take precedent. 

The question was first raised by independent news outlet the 19th when it published a story with the Arizona Mirror questioning Montgomery’s ability to remain impartial in the case in light of past statements he’s made about Planned Parenthood saying they are “responsible for the greatest genocide known to man.”

The case is set to be heard in December. Now, Planned Parenthood is formally requesting that Montgomery step down from the case a move he has said he will not make. 

But, in today’s world, judicial independence and public trust in the courts is not what it once was. Our Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the governor and Governor Doug Ducey expanded the court when he was in office in order to have even more appointees. 

At a national level, the U.S. Supreme Court is facing the same issue. Public trust in the court has eroded since the Dobbs decision that overturned abortion rights in Roe v. Wade. And questions about lavish vacations funded by political donors have made things worse. 

It’s a problem that worries Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick. He spoke with The Show about judicial independence and more.

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