Adversity Is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raúl H. Castro

By Raúl H. Castro; Jack L. August Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE

In 1958 I decided to run for judge of the newly created Fifth Judicial Division of the Pima County Superior Court. The most difficult aspect of this campaign took place early in the race, shortly after I decided to seek the judgeship. Mo Udall, my old boss in the county attorney’s office, came to me in May 1958 and tried to convince me not to run. As I had done earlier in 1954 when I decided to run for county attorney, I calmly informed him that I had already started to organize my campaign and said that if he wanted to be judge then he should run against me in the Democratic primary. If he won, that was fine. He decided not to run, and I ran unopposed in the Democratic primary of 1958.

At the time judges ran for their office like politicians, and I never grew comfortable with the process of electing the judiciary. The election of judges in Arizona was rooted in the state’s Progressive to Radical origins. In many ways, the Arizona constitution exemplified the high point of Progressive political reform during that remarkable era (1890-1920) which produced great national leaders like Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, William Jennings Bryan, and countless others who brought new ideas into the arena of self-government.1

On June 20, 1910, president William Howard Taft signed the Enabling Act, which authorized the Arizona and New Mexico territories to draft a constitution in order to be considered for admission into the union. Arizona’s last territorial governor, Richard Sloan, immediately called for the election of fifty-two delegates to a constitutional convention, and with a Progressive labor coalition dominating that important gathering, the new state forged a constitution that provided for initiative, referendum, and recall of elected officials, including judges, who were also elected by popular vote. Because Taft viewed the recall of judges as a threat to the integrity and independence of the judiciary, his administration delayed

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