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House OKs bill changing judicial selection choices

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has passed a bill expanding from three to five the number of judicial nominees a commission sends to the governor for her to choose from.

The effort is the latest from Republicans who want to change the state's voter-approved merit selection process.

Opponents of the bill point to the rejection of Proposition 115 in November. The referendum put on the ballot by the GOP-controlled legislature would have overhauled merit selection, changing the selection committee's size and forcing a minimum of eight potential choices. Only 28 percent of voters backed the measure.

Sponsor Rep. Justin Pierce of Mesa says the commission sent a total of five candidates for the last three Supreme Court vacancies and governors need more choices.

Tuesday's 34-24 vote sends the measure to the Senate.

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