Public Asked for Input on Candidates for Superior Court Vacancies

Courtesy of Civic Engagement Beyond Voting



The Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments is seeking public input on 15 candidates for three openings on the Superior Court in Maricopa County.


The candidates are:


Glenn A. Allen

Michelle Carson

Quintin H. Cushner

James N. Drake, Jr.

David W. Garbarino

Melody Garland Harmon

Lauren R. Guyton

Amy M. Kalman

Michael Kielsky

Julie A. LaFave

Keith J. Miller

Sigmund G. Popko

Andrew J. Russell

Ashley Villaverde Halvorson

Lisa S. Wahlin

Their applications can be viewed online at the Commission’s website.


Citizens may address the Commission on the day of the meeting or send written comments to jnc@courts.az.gov or to 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ 85007. It is not necessary to submit multiple copies of written comments, and email is preferred. Comments must be received no later than May 21, 2021 to be considered. Anonymous comments cannot be considered.


Gavel Watch recommends that Michael Kielsky and Keith J Miller NOT be considered.


Michael Kielsky: We found Kielsky to be too politically active and unlikely to adjudicate varied matters in an impartial manner. In addition, he does not have prior judicial experience. Although a number of years have passed since Mr. Kielsky attended law school, Thomas Jefferson School of Law has since had its accreditation revoked by the American Bar Association. Mr. Kielsky was Chairman of the Arizona Libertarian Party and has run for US Congress in 2004, for Maricopa County Attorney in 2008, 2010, 2012, and for the State House in 2014. He made a constant practice of fighting photo radar. Kielsky also challenged the results of Arizona's 2016 presidential primary.


Keith J Miller: We found that Miller is unlikely to adjudicate varied matters in an impartial manner. He represents far-right Federalist Society views, and was a Chapter Member of the Federalist Society while in law school. He attended Hillsdale College, an ultra-conservative private college and is a Board member of the Christian Legal Society, which is “dedicated to serving Jesus Christ through the practice and study of law, [and] the defense of religious freedom and life.” Miller defended Kanye West in his defense against a ballot challenge in Arizona. He does not have prior judicial experience.