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Justice Hurwitz confirmed by Senate for federal appeals court seat

June 13, 2012

Arizona Supreme Court Vice Chief Justice Andrew D. Hurwitz, an adjunct professor at the College of Law since 1977, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The confirmation came on a voice vote on Tuesday, June 12.

Dean Douglas Sylvester said, “We at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law congratulate Justice, now Judge, Hurwitz on his overdue but deserved confirmation by the U.S. Senate. His dedication to the law, sparkling intellect and judicial temperament make him an ideal 9th Circuit judge.”

Justice Hurwitz will fill a vacancy that occurred on Jan. 1, 2012, when Judge Mary M. Schroeder of Phoenix took semi-retired senior status.

In a statement posted on the Arizona Supreme Court’s website, Justice Hurwitz said he was grateful for President Obama’s confidence in nominating him, and for the Senate’s confirmation. “I especially thank Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain for their support of the nomination, and Representative Ed Pastor for his encouragement during this process. I look forward to this new opportunity for public service, but I will miss working on a daily basis with my wonderful colleagues on the Arizona Supreme Court and those serving the Arizona judicial branch throughout this great state.”

Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, a 1979 alumna of the College of Law, said in a statement that she was pleased about Justice Hurwitz’s confirmation, calling him “a judge of vision, great intellect and honor.

“In addition to his impressive academic credentials, he is also practical and hardworking,” Justice Berch said. “The 9th Circuit’s gain is this court’s loss. We wish him well.”

Justice Hurwitz has had a longtime association with the College of Law, its administration, faculty and students. He has taught a number of courses, including Ethics, Supreme Court Litigation, Legislative Process and Federal Courts, over a period of more than three decades. He also was a Visiting Professor at the law school, teaching Civil Procedure, in 1994-95, and he was a Distinguished Visitor from Practice in 2001.

Prior to his appointment in 2003 to the Arizona Supreme Court by former Gov. Janet Napolitano, Justice Hurwitz was a partner at Osborn Maledon, P.A., working primarily in appellate, government and commercial litigation and government affairs.

Justice Hurwitz’s contributions to the state include service as Judge Pro Tempore on the Arizona Court of Appeals, as a member and then president of the Arizona Board of Regents, and as chief of staff to two former governors, Bruce Babbitt and Rose Mofford. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a Master in the Horace Rumpole Inn of Court.

Justice Hurwitz has a law degree from Yale University and an undergraduate degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. Following his graduation from law school, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart.

The 9th Circuit serves Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, California and Arizona.

In a June 12 article in The Arizona Republic entitled, "Senate confirms Arizona Justice Andrew Hurwitz to 9th Circuit," by reporter Michael Kiefer, Hurwitz was described as cordial, athletic and somewhat "prickly on the bench" toward attorneys who are less prepared than he. Intellectually, said friend and former partner Larry Hammond, also an adjunct professor at the College of Law, "He is on a planet of his own."

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