Beene, James

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Judicial Performance Review Committee Score:
100%
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Responses

Question Response Comments/Notes
1. Which of the following Justices from the U.S. Supreme Court most reflects your judicial philosophy? −* These questions are posed in order to explain my judicial philosophy. In lieu of answering these specific questions, I have submitted a letter that outlines my judicial philosophy.
2. Please rate your judicial philosophy on a scale of 1 to 10, with "strict constructionism"1 being a "1" and "noninterpretivism" being a "10." −* Please see above comment.
3. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE that courts in the United States should look to the laws of other countries and international law to interpret the U.S. Constitution? −* Please see above comment
5. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with the reasoning in this statement from the U.S. Supreme Court: "These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." −* Please see above comment.
6. Do you AGREE or DISAGREE with this statement from former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice James Iredell: "If the Legislature of the Union, or the Legislature of any member of the Union, shall pass a law, within the general scope of their constitutional power, the Court cannot pronounce it to be void, merely because it is, in their judgment, contrary to the principles of natural justice." −* Please see above comment.

Judicial Decisions

STATE OF ARIZONA v SAMMANTHA LUCILLE REBECCA ALLEN
Case Number: CR-17-0368-APQuestion Presented: Whether a state law, which sets forth an abuse of discretion standard for capital sentences, is "cruel and unusual punishment" in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Decision: The law that sets forth an abuse of discretion standard for capital sentences does not violate the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.
MORGAN/NEFF v HONS. DICKERSON/CARDINAL/STATE
Case Number: CV-21-0198-PRQuestion Presented: Whether the First Amendment of the US Constitution gives the public a right of access to jurors’ names during jury selection.Decision: The First Amendment permits court to refer to potential jurors by numbers, not names, during jury selection and the trial.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision with one justice concurringSummary of Dissent or Concurrence: Concurrence by J. Bolick: Arizona's Constitution contains a privacy clause that also protects juror privacy.
SOUTH POINT ENERGY CENTER LLC v ADOR et al
Case Number: CV-21-0130-PRQuestion Presented: Whether the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 expressly preempts Mohave County’s property tax on a power plant owned by non-Indian lessees of federal land held in trust for the benefit of an Indian tribe.Decision: The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 does not expressly preempt the application of Arizona Constitution, article 9, § 2(13), and A.R.S. § 42-11002, which authorizes Mohave County to tax a non-Indian lessee’s improvements built on leased Indian reservation land.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.
STATE OF ARIZONA v KENNETH WAYNE THOMPSON II
Case Number: CR-19-0141-APQuestion Presented: Whether the imposition of the death penalty under Arizona’s sentencing statute for felony murder violated defendant’s due process rights under the Fifth Amendment and article 2, section 4 of the Arizona Constitution and his rights under the Eighth Amendment and article 2, section 15 of the Arizona Constitution.Decision: The Court found defendant’s Constitutional rights were not violated and affirmed his convictions and sentences. Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.
ARIZONA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOC et al v STATE
Case Number: CV-21-0234-T/APQuestion Presented: Whether four legislative budget reconciliation bills violate the Arizona Constitution’s “title requirement” and “single subject rule.”Decision: Three bills violate the title requirement and are void in part, and one bill violates the single subject rule and is entirely void. because these bills violate the title requirement, they are void in part, and The bills violate the single s SB 1819 also violates the single subject rule, it is entirely void.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision. Summary of Dissent or Concurrence: Concurrence by J. Bolick: The Arizona constitution assigns to the judiciary, not the legislature, the task of determining whether a bill complies with the title requirement or single subject rule.
KAREN FANN et al v STATE OF ARIZONA et al
Case Number: CV-21-0058-T/APQuestion Presented: Whether Prop. 208, imposing an income tax on some Arizona taxpayers to fund public schools, violates the expenditure limitations of the Arizona Constitution?Decision: Prop. 208 is unconstitutional to the extent that it mandates expending tax revenues in violation of the Education Expenditure Clause. The Court also holds that its non-revenue provisions are not severable.Judge Position: Joined in the 6/1 decision. Summary of Dissent or Concurrence: Concurrence and dissent in part by J. Timmer: Agrees with the majority that the trial court did not err by refusing to temporarily enjoin Prop. 208 but disagrees with the court's constitutional and severability analysis.
STATE OF ARIZONA v RONALD BRUCE BIGGER
Case Number: CR-20-0383-PRQuestion Presented: Whether A.R.S. § 13-4234(G) is unconstitutional as applied to the extent it conflicts with, and nullifies, Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.4(D)’s “no fault” exception to PCR filing time limits.Decision: The Court writes that it is unconstitutional.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.
ANTHONY GARCIA v HON. BUTLER/STATE
Case Number: CR-19-0298-PRQuestion Presented: Whether a trial court has discretion to deny a sexually violent person (SVP) screening when the state requests one under state law.Decision: The Court upholds the law as constitutional by interpreting it to provide for the exercise of trial court discretion whether to grant the State’s request for a sexually violent person screening. Depriving the trial court of any oversight as to whether to grant the state’s request would deprive a defendant of a neutral arbiter and violate basic principles of due process.Judge Position: Authored the 6/0 decision.
STATE OF ARIZONA v VIVEK A PATEL
Case Number: CR-19-0366-PRQuestion Presented: Whether a state law limiting the amount of restitution that can be awarded to a victim from loss resulting from a violation of specified traffic offenses is an unconstitutional limitation on the right to receive restitution under Arizona Constitution Art. 2, § 2.1(D).Decision: The constitutional right to receive restitution guarantees the victim of a crime the right to receive the full amount of economic loss or injury caused by a defendant’s criminal conduct.Judge Position: Joined in the 6/0 decision.
STATE OF ARIZONA v CITY OF TUCSON
Case Number: CV-20-0244-SAQuestion Presented: Whether the home rule charter provision in the Arizona Constitution overrides a state law that requires city elections be held on a statewide election date and allows a city to hold municipal elections on non-statewide election dates if provided under its charter.Decision: The state law is unconstitutional where a city charter requires electing local officials on a non-statewide election date because art. 14, §2 of the Arizona Constitution gives charter cities autonomy over matters of purely municipal concern.Judge Position: Joined in the 5/1 decision.Summary of Dissent or Concurrence: Dissent by J. Bolick: The words of the Arizona Constitution are clear and the state law should apply.
STATE OF ARIZONA v CHRISTOPHER AREVALO
Case Number: CR-19-0156-PRQuestion Presented: Whether A.R.S. § 13-1202(B)(2), which enhances the sentence for threatening or intimidating if the defendant is a criminal street gang member, is constitutional.Decision: The law is unconstitutional because it increases a criminal sentence based solely upon gang status in violation of substantive due process.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 opinion
STATE v HON. KEMP/APOLINAR ALTAMIRANO
Case Number: CR-19-0274-PRDecision: Arizona’s statutory framework for determining intellectual disability is constitutional.Judge Position: Authored the 5/0 opinion
STATE OF ARIZONA v JOHN MICHAEL ALLEN
Case Number: CR-17-0556-APQuestion Presented: Whether the trial court erred in imposing the death penalty and aggravated and maximum prison sentences.Decision: The Court rejects an argument that Arizona’s capital sentencing structure fails to adequately narrow the class of defendants eligible for the death penalty in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and article 2, sections 3, 4, 15, 23, and 32 of the Arizona Constitution.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.
STATE OF ARIZONA v THOMAS MICHAEL RILEY
Case Number: CR-15-0411-APQuestion Presented: Whether there was error in Thomas Michael Riley’s convictions and death sentence for the murder of Sean Kelly.Decision: The Court upholds the constitutionality of Arizona aggravated circumstances laws in capital cases, Arizona death penalty statutory scheme, and state law that governs the presentation of mitigation evidence at the penalty phase in a capital case.Judge Position: Joined in the 7/0 decision.