All but two of the 13 applicants to fill an Arizona Supreme Court opening have cleared the first hurdle.
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments said it plans to interview 11 of the applicants hoping to be appointed to fill the vacancy that will be created by Justice John Pelander.
The two applicants who won't move on to the commission's interview process were Institute for Justice attorney Paul Avelar and Court of Appeals Judge Randall Howe.
The 11 applicants moving on include five other Court of Appeals judges and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
The commission plans to interview the remaining applicants on March 1. It will then recommend at least three nominees to Gov. Doug Ducey, who will appoint Pelander's replacement.