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June 30, 2005
Ardaiz Considered For Federal Appellate Bench (Updated)

One of CQ's sources within the legal community informs me that the Bush administration is considering James Ardaiz, the presiding justice of California's Fifth District Court of Appeal, for a nomination to an opening on the notoriously far-left Ninth Circuit, which covers most of the western United States. Ardaiz has served in his present role for eleven years, an appointee of Governor Pete Wilson, after six years as an associate justice on the same circuit as an appointee of George Deukmejian. He has a total of twenty-four years of experience as a jurist, and prior to that spent six years as a prosecutor for the County of Fresno, specializing in homicide cases.

Justice Ardaiz has strongly supported California's three-strikes law, and has authored a book on its use and effect. He has a long track record of working with legislatures and other jurists in the California system as spokesman for various vocational organizations, building confidence in his ability to work with elected representatives on both sides of the aisle. Ardaiz has also won numerous awards from his colleagues for his judicial temperament and skill, including a 1999 California Jurist of the Year from the state's Judicial Council.

Justice Ardaiz appears to be the kind of jurist that the Ninth Circuit so badly needs: professional, thoughtful, with the proper approach to law that the oft-reversed Ninth obviously lacks on many occasions. Hopefully, the White House will nominate Ardaiz and the Senate will expedite his confirmation.

UPDATE: I initially understood this decision to already have been made by the White House, but my source tells me I misunderstood -- which I did. Ardaiz is under serious consideration for this opening.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 30, 2005 6:34 AM

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