Our compromises didn't last long

2012-02-05T00:00:00Z Our compromises didn't last long Arizona Daily Star
February 05, 2012 12:00 am

Arizona Daily Star.

Arizona had to make compromises to win statehood, but it didn't go along for long.

The original Arizona constitution presented to President Taft included a provision for the recall of judges.

Taft vetoed it on grounds that judges must remain independent.

Territorial Arizonans relented, and Congress sent the president a new resolution providing for statehood without the recall language.

But at the very first general election after statehood, in November 1912, Arizona voters re-enacted the recall of judges by a vote of 16,272 to 3,491.

Over the past 100 years, the recall of judges has proved rare, according to the book "Understanding the Arizona Constitution," by Toni McClory.

Only one Superior Court judge has been removed by recall - in 1925, the book says.

No appellate judge has been recalled. A justice of the peace was ousted in 1942, and in 2000 and 2001 the Pinal County Deputies Association tried to recall a justice of the peace but failed to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot, McClory wrote.

Back in fall of 1912, the men of our new state did something else that bucked convention. By a margin of 13,452 to 6,202, they agreed to give women the right to vote.

That vote came by way of another constitutional provision - citizen initiative - that Arizonans have wielded dozens of times in the past century. Arizonans don't have to rely on the Legislature to enact laws. Electors can collect petition signatures to put matters to a vote, and that's exactly how the question of women's suffrage ended up on the 1912 ballot.

At the next state election, in 1914, Frances Munds of Prescott became the first female senator in Arizona.

Nationally, it wasn't until 1920 that the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women the right to vote.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...
View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...