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3/20/2017 5:03:23 PM
Posted: 6/12/2001 9:46:53 AM EDT
Libertarian John Buttrick named as Superior Court judge in Arizona [May 31] In what appears to be a historical first, Libertarian John Buttrick has been named a judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona. Buttrick was approved on May 1 by the state's Republican governor, Jane Hull, beating 39 other contenders for the position. "The other 39 were, of course, Republicans and Democrats," said Buttrick -- demonstrating that the Libertarian political label is not necessarily an obstacle for LP members seeking public office. "Many Libertarians have given up on the party label because they think they can't get into office," he said. "But it's just not true. I think Libertarians can really benefit from seeking out appointed positions." Buttrick was initially screened by a commission of 16 members -- all registered Democrats and Republicans -- for the position. He was selected even though his "party affiliation was known throughout the entire selection process," said Buttrick. "This is believed to be the first time any third-party member has ever been appointed to a judgeship in Arizona," he said. "It may possibly be the first time a registered Libertarian has been appointed to any judgeship anywhere in the country." For the past 25 years, Buttrick has worked as an attorney for Brown and Bain, a Phoenix law firm. Specializing in product liability, contract, environmental, and patent litigation, he has represented high-profile clients like IBM and Intel. He is also well-known in Arizona for his political activity, including a run for governor in 1994 and a campaign for state representative in 1998. LP National Director Steve Dasbach said Buttrick's appointment is a major milestone for the Libertarian Party. "This is a big step forward for the party's credibility and influence," he said. "Keep in mind, the government is composed of three branches: Legislative, executive, and judicial. Libertarians have tended to seek legislative and executive positions, but may forget that the judicial branch wields just as much power. "John's appointment signals that the Libertarian perspective has now begun to be heard in the court system. Hopefully, John will be a pioneer for many more Libertarian judges in the future." LP National Chair Jim Lark said Buttrick's appointment was a victory for the party. "He's going to make a fine judge," he predicted. As a Superior Court judge, Buttrick, 53, has jurisdiction over all civil matters where more than $10,000 is in dispute, as well as felony criminal matters up to and including capital offenses. However, Buttrick said the majority of his cases will lik ely deal with civil litigation. His libertarian ideology will rarely influence his actions as a judge, said the Harvard Law School graduate -- and then only in cases involving federal or state Constitutional questions. "It's the job of lawyers to raise Constitutional questions and the judge to rule on them," he said. "Were I to read Constitutional issues into a case where the facts did not warrant it, my decision would likely be reversed by the Court of Appeals. So it doesn't make any sense for me to do that."
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 9:47:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/12/2001 9:45:48 AM EDT by Imbroglio]
(continued) [B]However, in applicable cases, Buttrick said he will uphold the legitimacy of jury nullification, which is one of the few legal measures specifically endorsed in the LP National Platform.[/B] Jury nullification is the legal doctrine that allows jurors to rule on the validity of the law itself, as well as the facts in a case. For example, jurors could vote to acquit someone charged with a medical marijuana offense, even if he was technical ly guilty, to show disapproval for what they saw as an unfair law. Buttrick said he earned his appointment as judge the old-fashioned way: With hard work and honesty. "Many people had said that I might have a better shot at getting appointed if I switched my registration to Republican or Independent," he said. "But I think it actually hurts you if you show that you are willing to change your convictions whenever i t's professionally expedient." In addition, Buttrick said he had built up a network of influential policy figures who supported him. For example, his appointment was endorsed by members of the Goldwater Institute -- a Phoenix free-market public policy foundation -- and by the Speaker of the State House of Representatives, who he had met during his gubernatorial and state represent ative races. "As you sow so shall you reap," said Buttrick. "I ran very sound campaigns in the past and received a lot of favorable press coverage, as well as admiration from other political parties. So I had some supporters in this effort. "A lot of politicians think 'If I had more guts, I'd be a Libertarian.' They may not say so out loud, but that's what's going on in their head. So when the opportunity arises to support something that is libertarian -- and is politically safe -- they are willing to come halfway out of the closet." As Maricopa County Superior Court judge, Buttrick will serve until 2004. If he wishes to continue serving after that, he will have to stand for election for a four-year term. Until then, said Buttrick, he is looking forward to hearing legal arguments instead of making them. "I wanted to take a step in a new direction, and now I have that opportunity," he said. [B]"I'm going to honor the Constitution every chance I get."[/B] In addition to his campaigns for public office, Buttrick was a member of the Libertarian National Committee (1997-2000), and was the chair of the LP National Platform Committee (1998 and 2000).
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 9:49:17 AM EDT
Mah-velous. Norm
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 9:58:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 9:59:10 AM EDT
A small step, but a good one!
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 10:01:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 10:21:44 AM EDT
Good for him and our Constituton "Buttrick was initially screened by a commission of 16 members -- all registered Democrats and Republicans -- for the position. He was selected even though his "party affiliation was known throughout the entire selection process," said Buttrick." - Makes him sound like he was a Nazi or something, not a decent citizen. Where did this come from Imbrog|io? Ice
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 10:50:25 AM EDT
[url]www.lp.org/[/url]
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 10:48:07 PM EDT
A good first step. Let's see if we can keep it up.
Link Posted: 6/12/2001 11:07:39 PM EDT
Doesn't matter. We've already lost. So they toss freedom a stinkin bone. I'm still paying over half of what I make in taxes and I can't purchase the weapons I want or defend myself in the manner of my choosing. Nothing is really changing. Sorry Imbrog|io, you were just sounding to chipper. Just wanted to make sure you stayed focused. [:)]
Link Posted: 6/13/2001 7:43:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ratters: Doesn't matter. We've already lost. So they toss freedom a stinkin bone. I'm still paying over half of what I make in taxes and I can't purchase the weapons I want or defend myself in the manner of my choosing. Nothing is really changing. Sorry Imbrog|io, you were just sounding to chipper. Just wanted to make sure you stayed focused. [:)]
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Jeez, Ratters, that was mean![;)] Really, this is great news, and for us, it sets a believable precedent. I'm really glad there's a libertarian SCJ out there, especially in the great free state of AZ. May it continue thus! Juggernaut[%(]"Freeeeeeeedom!"
Link Posted: 6/13/2001 9:03:59 AM EDT
The question for the republican voters is: If you had to go to court over a firearms violation would you rather have a democrat, republican, or John Buttrick as the presiding judge?
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