Senior Federal Judge Robert Broomfield, 81

PHOENIX (CN) - Senior U.S. District Judge Robert C. Broomfield died in Phoenix on July 10, the 29th anniversary of his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He was 81.
     Broomfield died of cancer at a Phoenix hospice, the 9th Circuit said in a statement. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Reagan, and was sworn in by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
     Broomfield was chief judge of the U.S. District of Arizona from 1994 to 1999, when he assumed senior status. He served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court from 2002 to 2009, and represented the 9th Circuit on several other committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He helped obtain approval and funding for the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse in Phoenix.
     After graduating from Penn State in 1955, Broomfield served in the Air Force for three years as a pilot. He got his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1961, went into private practice, and was a judge on the Maricopa County Superior Court from 1971 to 1985, the last 11 years as its presiding judge.
     Broomfield's colleagues Raner Collins, chief judge of the U.S. District of Arizona, called him "a judge's judge, [and] a gentleman."
     Ninth Circuit Judge Barry Silverman, who knew him for 35 years, described Broomfield as "a brilliant jurist, an equally brilliant practitioner of court administration, and yet an uncommonly kind and modest human being - an almost unheard of combination."
     He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Cuma; their sons Robert Jr. and Scott; daughter Alyson; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
     Services are pending.