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Arizona appeals court judge appointed to state Supreme Court

(Courtesy of Arizona governor's office)

PHOENIX — An Arizona Court of Appeals judge was appointed Friday by Gov. Doug Ducey to the state Supreme Court, marking the governor’s fourth appointment to the court.

Judge James P. Beene was picked to fill the seat vacated by Justice John Pelander, who retired in March after serving on the court since his appointment in 2009.

 “Judge Beene has spent his career as a dedicated advocate for the people of Arizona, including its most vulnerable populations,” Ducey said in a statement.

Beene has served on the Court of Appeals since 2016.

He previously served on the Maricopa County Superior Court for seven years, and has worked at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Attorney General’s Office and Arizona’s Residential Utility Consumer’s Office.

“He has a strong record as a public servant in all three branches of government,” Ducey said in a statement. “These experiences make him exceptionally qualified for this position.”

Beene beat out 12 other applicants — including several other Court of Appeals judges — vying to replace Pelander.

The Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments reviewed the applications and heard public comments at a February meeting.

Ducey will soon have another Supreme Court seat to fill after Justice Scott Bales announced in March that he would retire this summer.

That means he will have chosen five of the seven justices during his tenure. The court expanded from five justices to seven in 2016.

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