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Arizona Justice Tapped for 9th Circuit Vacancy

(CN) - President Barack Obama has nominated Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew David Hurwitz to the 9th Circuit.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Hurwitz will take Judge Mary Schroeder's seat on the San Francisco-based federal appeals court.

Schroeder is expected to take semi-retired senior status early next year.

Hurwitz, 64, has served on the Arizona Supreme Court since 2003, acting as vice chief justice since 2009. The East Coast native is also an adjunct law professor at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

"Justice Hurwitz has proven himself to be not only a first-rate legal mind but a faithful public servant," President Obama said in statement Wednesday. "It is with full confidence in his ability, integrity, and independence that I nominate him to the bench of the United States Court of Appeals."

Hurwitz graduated from Princeton University in 1968 and from Yale Law School in 1972. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart from 1973 to 1974, one of three federal clerkships he has held over his long career. In the 1980s, Hurwitz served as chief of staff for Arizona Govs. Bruce Babbitt and Rose Mofford.

He was appointed to the bench in 2003 by another Arizona governor, Janet Napolitano, who now serves as U.S. secretary of homeland security. Prior to that appointment, Hurwitz was a partner at Osborn Maledon.

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