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Gov. Ducey appoints Democrat David Gass to Arizona Court of Appeals

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey appointed state superior court Judge David Gass to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Court of Appeals on Friday, a pick that drew praise from members of both political parties.

Gass, a Democrat, has been on the Maricopa County Superior Court bench for 10 years. His history includes work as Arizona House Democratic Caucus counsel.

“Judge Gass’s broad support in the community speaks to the respect he has earned across the aisle and across the state, without regard for party affiliation,” Ducey said in a press release.

Gass has also worked in the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. As a judge, he’s presided over juvenile, civil, criminal and family courtrooms, according to the release.

“Judge Gass is one of the more impressive candidates I’ve met for the bench,” Ducey said.

“His understanding of the law, his appreciation for the separation of powers, his view of the role of a judge and of the court, and his ability to communicate his judicial philosophy to citizens and leaders will serve our state well on the court of appeals.”

Gass replaces Justice James P. Beene, whom Ducey appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in April.

Last week, Ducey filled another Supreme Court vacancy with former Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, leaving no Democrats on state’s highest court.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, one of the state’s most powerful Democrats, called the selection of Gass for the appeals court “excellent news” for Arizona and an “excellent choice.”

Democratic State Rep. Cesar Chavez praised Ducey for the pick and congratulated Gass.

Republican State Sen. Kate Brophy McGee of Phoenix took to Twitter to call Gass a “great selection.”

State Rep. Bob Thorpe, a Republican from Flagstaff, issued a statement calling Gass “a stellar addition.”

Gass becomes one of 16 judges in the appeals court’s Phoenix-based Division One.

The court hears cases appealed from superior court in three-judge panels.

Court of appeals decisions can be reviewed and potentially overruled by the state supreme court.

Another appeals court seat remains open following the July death of Judge Jon W. Thompson.

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