Clint Bolick C’79 is the 40th Justice to be named to the Arizona State Supreme Court, but he’s the first to be unaligned with either the Democratic or Republican party. It’s a fitting distinction for a lawyer whose career in legal advocacy has routinely defied major-party orthodoxy.
“Clint is nationally renowned and respected as a constitutional law scholar and as a champion of liberty,” Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said in a statement announcing Bolick’s appointment.
Bolick achieved his national renown as the vice president for litigation at a libertarian think tank named for the late Barry Goldwater, the arch-conservative U.S. senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate who remains one of Bolick’s political heroes. Yet Bolick cites his opposition to the Iraq War, a venture championed by President George Bush and his Republican colleagues in Congress, as the turning point in his defection from the GOP in 2003. With Jeb Bush, Bolick co-wrote Immigration Wars: Forging an American Revolution, which advocates reforms that contradict mainstream Republican thought.
“It’s pretty unusual for someone to be engaged in the type of work I was engaged in to be appointed to the judiciary,” he says, though he points to Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg as two notable exceptions.