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AZ Supreme Court justice won't recuse himself from upcoming abortion case

By Jill Ryan
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2023 - 11:49am
Updated: Thursday, November 9, 2023 - 10:53am

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The Arizona Supreme Court will be evaluating whether abortion rights remain legal in Arizona or if a territorial-era law takes precedence. The court will hear arguments in December. 

But one justice has made personal statements in the past that have put his objectivity into question. 

This case is brought before the Supreme Court by Planned Parenthood of Arizona. Court Justice William Montgomery has not only made anti-abortion statements when he was a prosecutor, but has also made negative comments about the Planned Parenthood organization itself. 

Bill Montgomery
Gage Skidmore/CC BY 2.0
Bill Montgomery speaking with attendees at the launch of the ASU Center for American Institutions in 2022.

Regardless, Montgomery says he will not recuse himself from the case and that he will consider only the law and remain impartial. 

The Code of Judicial Conduct says judges should recuse themselves in any case in which "the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party."

Some of his past comments include that Planned Parenthood “is responsible for the greatest generational genocide known to man.”

There is no procedure to force a Supreme Court justice to step aside.

Politics Abortion