Negotiating The Arizona Supreme Court Budget: Quid Pro Quo?

Court funding has become a hot button issue across the country as courts continue to try to live up to their Constitutional duties as a third, equal branch of government – all while being funded by the other two branches.

In Arizona, the Supreme Court funding requests are coming with strings attached, in this instance judges. The state’s highest court has five judges currently serving, but legislative Republicans are bargaining for two more seats at the table, according to Capitol Media Services out of Tucson.

The report notes that the other four judges share the view of their Chief. “Chief Justice Scott Bales is on record as saying neither the state’s population nor the caseload justifies two more justices and the costs that go along with that.”

The court is asking the Arizona legislature for a 3% pay increase for its judges, as well as funds to automate some of its services. The current deal appears to provide the 3% increase, but increases the number of parole offices, instead of automating the services.

Is this another example of the third branch becoming the third rail? Dive into the details in the Capitol Media Services story and hold on – looks like this court budget negotiation is in for a bumpy ride.