Arizona Supreme Court justice John Pelander targeted for removal

PHOENIX, AZ - An Arizona Supreme Court justice could be in danger of losing his seat.

Some in the Republican Party say justice John Pelander ignored "overwhelming evidence" of fraud in allowing Proposition 121 to stay on the November ballot.            

Justice Pelander told ABC15 he's become a victim of party extremists who didn't get their way.

"They're somehow resting the blame on me for the proposition being on the ballot, and that could not be further from the truth," Pelander said.

If approved, Proposition 121 would eliminate individual political party primary elections, and instead send candidates with the most votes to the general election.

Tea Party Republicans hate it, saying thousands of invalid signatures were used to get it on the ballot in the first place.

Pelander agreed with an earlier ruling by a previous judge to keep the proposition on the ballot. That's when the movement to unseat him began.

On Proposition 121, Pelander told ABC15 his personal feelings on the proposition had no effect on his decision.

"Not at all. Not at all. It was simply not a factor," Pelander said. "I have nothing against politicians or politics, but we as judges are not politicians. We certainly do not decide any case, this case included, based on political factors or personal policy preferences."

One major reason Pelander says he's been unfairly targeted is that as a State Supreme Court justice, it was not his job to decide if Proposition 121 should be on the ballot.

Pelander simply had to rule if the previous judge handled Proposition 121's court case fairly.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appointed Pelander to the State Supreme Court in 2009.

Arizona's Republican Party leaders would not discuss the attacks against Justice Pelander.

"This is not just a personal attack against me, but it's really an assault against the integrity of this court, and that bothers me greatly for obvious reasons," he said.

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