Susan Bolton

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Susan Ritchie Bolton is an activist judge serving on the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.


Bolton was born in 1951 in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 1973, and received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1975.

Legal career

Bolton began her legal career as a clerk for Judge Laurance T. Wren, who is perhaps best known for presiding over the trial that eventually led to the "Miranda Rights" ruling. She served in this capacity from 1975-1977 before moving on to private practice. She served on the Arizona Superior Court for Maricopa County from 1989-2000.[1]

In 2000, Bolton was nominated to the Arizona District Court by Bill Clinton. She was confirmed by the United States Senate and received her commission on October 13, 2000, receiving bipartisan support.[2]

Arizona Immigration Law

Despite cultivating an image as a political independent, Bolton revealed her strong liberal leanings in 2010, when she was called upon to hear cases related to the Arizona SB 1070 Immigration Law. On July 28, 2010, one day before the law was scheduled to take effect, Bolton issued a last-minute, sweeping moratorium blocking all four of the most critical provisions of the law, thus necessitating a lengthy and expensive legal battle should Arizona choose to defend the law.[3]