AZ Supreme Court ruling on near-total abortion ban could result in a tie decision

By Greg Hahne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, December 8, 2023 - 3:03pm
Updated: Friday, December 8, 2023 - 5:17pm

The state Supreme Court will decide whether nearly all abortions are illegal in Arizona with only six justices. And that leads to the possibility of a 3-to-3 tie.

The high court now says it won’t replace a seventh justice who recused himself as hearings are set to start Tuesday.

In cases of ties, the decision from the state Court of Appeals is held. And in this case, it would leave in place the 2022 law that makes the procedure legal up until 15 weeks of pregnancy. The justices are weighing that law against a near-total ban from territorial days. 

Justice William Montgomery said he recused himself after reviewing the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct. 

Planned Parenthood Arizona had called for his recusal based on statements Montgomery made while he was Maricopa County attorney. He said the national organization "is responsible for the greatest generational genocide known to man."

A Supreme Court spokesperson said finding a replacement is standard procedure.

Politics Abortion