Election 2018

Clint Bolick, Arizona's Libertarian Supreme Court Justice, Wins Judicial Retention Election

The justice prevailed by a lopsided margin of 71 percent to 29 percent.


Arizona Governor's Office

The Arizona electorate has voted overwhelmingly in favor of letting a libertarian jurist keep his seat on the state's highest court. As the Arizona Republic reports, state Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick handily won his judicial retention election yesterday by a lopsided margin of 71 percent to 29 percent.

Bolick, a pioneering libertarian lawyer and co-founder of the Institute for Justice, was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2016 by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. Under the terms of the Arizona constitution, a state Supreme Court justice must stand in a judicial retention election two years after being appointed to the bench, and then stand again every six years after that.

It's worth noting that Bolick prevailed in yesterday's vote despite the best efforts of the liberal National Education Association, which funded anti-Bolick activities in an attempt at payback over Bolick's vote in a case that the Arizona Capitol Times has described as "a ruling that knocked a tax hike for education off the ballot." Unfortunately for these liberal activists, they have now lost soundly in both the courtroom and in the court of public opinion.

Bolick has already amassed an impressive record on the Arizona Supreme Court in the past two years and will no doubt continue to build upon it in the years to come.

Arizona residents may also appreciate something else about the newly retained justice. Bolick is—to the best of my knowledge at least—the only visibly tattooed state Supreme Court justice in the country. Where's his tattoo and what's the story behind it? As Bolick explained it to me, "I have always gotten very personally committed to my cases over the years. When I took on the cause of tattoo studios and their free speech rights I vowed that if we won I would get inked. And we did win and, much to my wife's chagrin, I got inked. The tattoo is a scorpion, which is on my right index finger. That is my typing finger. I've typed everything I've ever written with one finger. And I thought it would be appropriate now that I'm an official desert resident to have a desert creature on my typing finger."