Although Chief Justice Berch's commentary in the Arizona Republic does not expressly rebut the political charges leveled against Justice Pelander, it reaffirms the judiciary's commitment to impartiality in a time of polarization.
"Arizona has a professional and impartial court system. Our judges decide cases based on the facts and the law without regard to political considerations. Our state also has a thorough and transparent system for providing voters with accurate, balanced information about the work judges do.
Voters have a civic duty to be informed. Before you vote on the judges, please take just a few minutes to learn about them from www.azjudges.info. I think you'll agree that judges in Arizona are a fine and highly respected group of professionals."
Tim Eigo also has this post regarding merit selection and the efforts to oust Justice Pelander. It is well worth the read. Here is a short excerpt:
I would urge the following for anyone “on the fence” due to this ruling: As the Chief says, review the data at the website of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, and read your own voter pamphlet.
And then, go the extra step: Read the ruling itself. . . . [R]eading the actual ruling will remind us all that the Court (and Justice Pelander) did not affirm or deny the merit of Prop 121; it handled the election question—judiciously—as it does with countless other ballot-measure cases, year after year.