Monday, October 26, 2020

GUEST COMMENTARY: Don’t play politics; retain Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury!

The political campaign to remove Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury has gained momentum. This is wrong, especially when it is based only on a sliver of evidence.

Arizona went to the judicial retention system to fix this politicization. Despite Judge Coury’s ruling in the Invest in Ed Initiative case, which Democratic literature claims was overly partisan, it is important to keep in mind that it was one opinion out of many.

From my personal experience observing Judge Coury’s courtroom during law school (while he was on the criminal bench), I was able to see a much different Judge Coury. I saw a fair, compassionate, and impartial judge who followed the letter of the law, and went above and beyond in faithfully executing his judicial duties. I learned a lot about criminal proceedings and the jury selection process because he took the time to explain and teach me.

I was further impressed by the weekly program for juvenile transfer offenders (JTOPS), which he ran. Through the JTOPS program, he helped to rehabilitate many juvenile offenders by offering them a chance to learn from their mistakes, staying out of the Department of Corrections system, and avoid recidivism. 

Overall, a judge's ruling in one case cannot possibly show a full and accurate representation of their ability to serve on the bench as a nonpartisan judge. I believe Judge Coury is an asset to the Maricopa County Court system and would be missed if he is unfairly voted out based on one ruling. 

(Aaryn Weich is a 2019 graduate of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in Phoenix.)

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