Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed Bill Montgomery (R) to the Arizona Supreme Court on September 4, 2019. Montgomery replaces former Chief Justice Scott Bales, who retired on July 31, 2019. Montgomery was Ducey’s fifth appointment to the seven-member court.
Before being appointed to the state Supreme Court, Montgomery was Maricopa County Attorney. He was first elected to the position in a 2010 special election and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Montgomery also previously served as Deputy County Attorney and was a prosecutor before holding elected office. Montgomery earned his bachelor’s from West Point and his J.D. from the Arizona State University College of Law. He is a veteran of the Gulf War.
Including Montgomery, all seven members of the Arizona Supreme Court have been appointed by Republican governors Jan Brewer or Ducey.
In 2019, there have been 18 supreme court vacancies across 12 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Of those 18 vacancies, 12 are in states where a Republican governor appoints the replacement. Five vacancies occurred in a state where a Democratic governor fills vacancies, while another occurred in a state where a Republican-controlled legislature appoints replacements.