California Justice Marvin Baxter Plans to Retire

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter announced today that he will not seek re-election in November and will retire in January after 24 years on the court.
     "I have been privileged to have such an interesting and fulfilling career in the law, serving as a deputy district attorney, in private practice, as appointments secretary to Gov. George Deukmejian, and as an Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal and Supreme Court," Baxter said in a statement. "It is a great honor to have served on the state's high court since 1991."
     A native of the Fresno County town of Fowler, Baxter began his career as a Fresno deputy district attorney in 1967. He entered private practice in 1969, eventually making partner at Andrews, Andrews, Thaxter, Jones and Baxter before going to work in the Deukmejian administration in 1983.
     Baxter spent five years advising Deukmejian on judicial and executive appointments before his boss appointed him to the California Court of Appeals, Fifth Appellate District. Deukmejian next appointed Baxter to the California Supreme Court in 1991, where he has served two terms.
     Earlier this year, Baxter stepped down as chair of the Policy Coordination and Liaison Committee of the Judicial Council, succeeded by Judge Kenneth So of San Diego. The committee sets the legislative and lobbying agenda for the Judicial Council.
     Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye called Baxter "an intellectual force to be reckoned with."
     "I was very fortunate when I became Chief Justice to have the quiet-spoken and reflective Justice Baxter on my left-hand side not only on the Supreme Court but also on the Judicial Council," Sakauye said in a statement. "I will miss his sage advice and counsel."
     Baxter, 74, said he looks forward to "an active retirement and will focus our time and attention on family and friends, traveling, hobbies, and charitable activities."