New state chief justice to continue push for ‘bail reform’

New Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel is sworn in Friday by predecessor Scott Bales. /Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Anyone looking for major changes at the Arizona Supreme Court with the naming Friday of Robert Brutinel as its chief justice is likely to be disappointed.

Yes, Brutinel is a Republican. And he is replacing Democrat Scott Bales.

And Brutinel, who served on the Supreme Court for nine years, and 14 before that as a Yavapai County Superior Court judge, does have some priorities he hopes to accomplish in his five-year term. That includes finding better ways for the legal system to handle the mentally ill rather than having them wind up in jail.

But major changes?

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