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Pinal County nominating panel lacks lawyer members

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PHOENIX (AP) -

A new state commission to make nominations to fill Pinal County court vacancies has a quorum but none of the attorney members it's supposed to have.

Pinal County converted to having new judges appointed by the governor after reaching a population of 250,000, but the Arizona Capitol Times reports that the transition from electing judges has been rocky.

No Democrats showed interest in applying for the bench and volunteers were lacking for the commission itself.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer says it's enough that the commission has most of the constitutionally required 15 members. Matt Benson says that means the commission can begin to select nominees.

Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Jones thinks otherwise. He says the commission's current competition doesn't satisfy the constitutional standards.

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