“Arizona Supreme Court justice targeted for removal over 1864 abortion ban blasts critics”

Arizona Republic:

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick forcefully decries the effort urging voters to remove him and a colleague from the bench since upholding the state’s 1864 abortion law, arguing his critics are “hijacking the retention process.”

In a 1,500-word opinion piece in The Arizona Republic published Monday, Bolick insults his critics, defends the abortion ruling and the state’s judges, and warns against a politically driven retention system that would be “game-over for the rule of law.”

Those seeking to oust him and Justice Kathryn H. King have turned to the slogan “Vote Them Out!” which, he said, “packs with venom what it lacks in substance.”

The liberal activist group Progress Arizona is advocating their removal, saying that when the court puts “ideology over the people” it is a “civic duty” to change justices.

“The groups opposing us need a serious civics lesson about the role of the courts. Nowhere in their materials will you read about the importance of an independent judiciary in protecting our free society,” Bolick wrote….

Bolick, 66, describes himself as an independent who has set Arizona’s record for judicial dissents. But he is also linked to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the conservative justice who has become a symbol to many of the court’s rightward tilt and who has faced widespread complaints of violating the principles of judicial ethics. Thomas is godfather to one of Bolick’s children, according to the 2000 book “Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade” by Nina J. Easton.

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