Judges’ addresses would be forever shielded from the public under a state lawmaker’s bill passed Wednesday in a Senate committee. Senator Steve Smith, who chairs the Public Safety committee says, it’s not right that judges who retire should have where they live a matter of public record.

Smith, a Maricopa Republican says, when judges retire, their home addresses become public record, making them vulnerable to violent ex-cons with “long memories” against the judge who sent them to prison. Smith says this concern of retribution was brought to him by a constituent.

The Arizona Newspaper’s Association opposes the bill. The A-N-A’s John Moody says he’s not comfortable with the bill expanding the number of officials shielded under existing law because it broadens the statute too much. But he adds, as a former prosecutor who has a judge in the family, he can understand the motive behind the legislation.

The bill now heads to Senate Rules.
–Barbara Villa