Election 2018

Arizona Liberals Are Working Hard to Unseat This Libertarian Justice

Clint Bolick faces a judicial retention fight.


Arizona Governor's Office

When voters in Arizona head to the polls tomorrow, they will have the opportunity to vote yes or no on retaining two members of the state's highest court. Under the Arizona constitution, state Supreme Court justices face a judicial retention vote two years after they are first appointed by the governor, and then again every six years after that. One of the justices up for retention tomorrow will be a familiar name to Reason readers.

Clint Bolick is a pioneering libertarian lawyer who has helped to shape the course of U.S. constitutional law. As I noted in a 2016 interview with him, "as a co-founder and former director of strategic litigation for the Institute for Justice, Bolick helped bring about landmark legal victories on behalf of students, parents, property owners, and entrepreneurs. In 2002 Bolick's litigation on behalf of school choice culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, in which Cleveland's pioneering school voucher program was upheld. Three years later, Bolick argued and won before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case known as Granholm v. Heald, in which the Court struck down protectionist state laws that banned the direct sale of wine to consumers from out-of-state wineries." Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Bolick to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2016.

Bolick has since distinguished himself on the bench. In Arizona v. Maestas (2018), for instance, Bolick wrote a significant concurring opinion challenging the application of the U.S. Supreme Court's "political question doctrine" to the case of a valid medical marijuana card holder arrested by Arizona State University police for having a small amount of pot in his dorm room. The case turned on whether a 2012 state law forbidding the possession of otherwise legally permissible marijuana on state college campuses could be squared with the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act of 2010, the voter initiative that legalized and regulated pot possession in the first place. State officials had urged the court to defer to the legislature's 2012 actions.

"When the judiciary fails to interpret and enforce constitutional rights and limits," Bolick wrote, "it shrinks from its central duty and drains the Constitution of its intended meaning." The medical marijuana card holder ultimately prevailed.

Normally, a judicial retention vote in Arizona goes smoothly for the sitting justice. But Bolick is under fire this election season from the liberal National Education Association, which is funding anti-Bolick activities as part of its "Red for Ed" campaign. As the Arizona Capitol Times has reported, "upset with a ruling that knocked a tax hike for education off the ballot, some education advocates are trying to get voters to turn [Bolick] out of office in November."

We'll soon find out whether or not Arizona's libertarian Supreme Court justice gets to keep his seat.

NEXT: Verdict for Marijuana Grower May Reduce Threat of Ruinous RICO Liability

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    1. It went from: “liberaltarians” to “bleeding heart libertarians” to just plain old “progressives”.

      1. http://www.twitter.com/NiskanenCenter…..8839988225

        Oh, excuse me. They like to be called “moderates” now

        1. Moderate compared to the openly socialist wing of the modern left, maybe. “I’m more moderate than those batshit insane people over there!”

  2. No such thing as a “Liberal”.

    Your title should read: Arizona Lefty Progressive Socialist shitbags Are Working Hard to Unseat This Libertarian Justice

  3. #FakeNews! I heard on Reason.com that libertarians are neither left nor right, and are equally opposed to both!

    It can’t be true that anti-libertarian efforts are only coming from one side or my head would explode!

    1. In my state, Republicans fight reliably, hard, and dirty to keep Libertarian Party candidates off the ballot.

      The self-described libertarians who lean right are faux libertarians, sheepish Republicans masquerading in unconvincing libertarian drag because the Republican brand has been tarnished.

  4. Speaking of court justices, if Republicans extend their majority in the Senate look forward to Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace Thomas.

    The papists will dominate the court in perpetuity.

    1. I am not really a fan of that. I hope Thomas hangs in there and RBG keels over. I am told that the Wise Latina is a pretty serious diabetic. Beyer is over 80 years old. Between those two and RBG, there is a good chance that two of them will head off to the great bench in the sky giving Trump, who assuming Thomas retires, the chance to appoint five Justices as President. That would make him the most significant President since Reagan and maybe since FDR.

      1. Thomas will announce his retirement shortly after the coming term. Book it. And Trump will feel obliged to nominate Barett.

        RBG will not die, because she is immortal.

        1. She looks more like Norman Bates’ mom every day.

        2. I agree with Thomas retiring early 2019.

          Politics is a young person’s game.

          RBG is trying so hard to not die, God will smite her with old age.

        3. I would’ve expected a Highlander to be taller. Then again the robes would be good for concealing the sword

          1. RBG hasn’t had a sword under her robes since that infamous Harvard toga party in 1949.

            1. Take your best shot, clingers.

              Then watch your betters enlarge the Court in 2021, eliminating the conservative majority and relegating the Kavanaughs and Alitos to bitter lifetimes of writing strident, inconsequential dissents.

              1. You really don’t get how desperate this sounds?

                1. Open wider, you bigoted rube. The American mainstream has more progress to shove down right-wing throats. Feel free to whine all you want as America improves against your wishes and efforts.

                  1. I mean, your follow up really only doubles down on the pathos.
                    It’s a very sad and desperate look.
                    Really don’t know how this isn’t obvious to you

        4. You can’t kill it if it isn’t alive.

  5. Liberals? They are Progressives damnit! Liberals are tolerant

  6. voting for judges counter-intuitive

  7. OT: Someone send this guy this song.

  8. Libertarian judges are crazy scary. To the rest of the government, that is. The SCOTUS could use a few.

  9. “Arizona Liberals Are Working Hard to Unseat This Libertarian Justice”

    I blame Trump.

  10. So this judge was “credibly accused” of not towing the public employee union party line?

    At least this is an actual accusation with merit. How many Kavanaugh accusers have not admitted that they were lying? Aren’t we up to three at this point?

    1. Frankly, I am surprised we have not seen or heard any “credible allegations” that Bolick was organizing rape parties while in kindergarten.

  11. Bolick is the only judge I voted to retain.

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