Arizona Fellows Issue Statement Opposing Attacks on Judges

The Arizona State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) – whose members comprise the best of the trial bar in Arizona - strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. In keeping with this mission, we write to voice our concerns about Governor Doug Ducey’s recent comments regarding Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper.

Governor Ducey has taken issue with Judge Cooper’s ruling which struck down Arizona’s ban on face mask mandates by school districts. (“Today’s decision is the result of a rogue judge interfering with the authority and processes of another branch of government”).

Governor Ducey has every right to disagree with Judge Cooper’s decision. The Governor, however, should not move beyond respectful disagreement into baseless character attacks on this respected judge.

Judge Cooper has served our citizens with distinction. Governor Ducey’s characterization of Judge Cooper as a “rogue judge” threatens judicial independence, undermines the integrity of the judiciary, and has no place in political discourse.