PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's hopes of getting an appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court are still alive.
A state panel on Friday included Montgomery among seven potential justices forwarded to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey for a final decision. The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments eliminated two candidates and sent Ducey a list of four Republicans, two Democrats and one Libertarian.
Montgomery is the best-known and most controversial of the candidates.
Civil rights groups say he's a barrier to criminal justice reforms and his years in elected office make it hard for him to be an impartial arbiter.
Montgomery's supporters say he has shown tremendous courage making difficult decisions knowing that they'll anger a segment of the community.
A state panel is scheduled to interview Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and eight others seeking an appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The Friday interviews will help the panel choose at least three finalists before Republican Gov. Doug Ducey makes his pick.
Montgomery is the best-known and most controversial of the nine potential justices. Civil rights groups say he's a barrier to criminal justice reforms and point to sexual misconduct allegations against a senior prosecutor in his office.
His critics say his years in elected office make it hard to be an impartial arbiter.
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments declined in March to make Montgomery a finalist for a prior vacancy. Ducey has since replaced several commission members.
The next justice will replace retiring Chief Justice Scott Bales.