Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appoints Kathryn King to state Supreme Court

Jul 8, 2021, 8:47 AM | Updated: 2:33 pm
Kathryn Hackett King was sworn in as an Arizona Supreme Court justice on July 8, 2021. (Twitter Pho...
Kathryn Hackett King was sworn in as an Arizona Supreme Court justice on July 8, 2021. (Twitter Photo/@dougducey)
(Twitter Photo/@dougducey)

PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday appointed Phoenix attorney Kathryn Hackett King to the Arizona Supreme Court.

King becomes the fifth woman to ever serve on the state’s highest court, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Ducey’s five previous appointments were all men.

King, a partner at BurnsBarton PLC, fills a seat on the seven-member panel that was vacated when Justice Andrew Gould retired three months ago.

She served as Ducey’s deputy general counsel from 2015 to 2017 and has been a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs the state’s three public universities, since Ducey appointed her to that role in 2020.

The University of Arizona law school graduate clerked for then-Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan from 2007 to 2008.

“Kate’s strong belief in the separation of powers and experience serving in all three branches of government will serve the people of Arizona well,” Ducey said in the release.

“I have witnessed her intelligence and wisdom firsthand, and I know she is well-respected in the legal field. I am delighted to appoint Kate to the Arizona Supreme Court.”

In May, the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments sent Ducey a list of seven nominees for the vacancy. The governor picked King over public defense attorney David Euchner and judges Cynthia Bailey, Jennifer Perkins, Adele Ponce, Patricia Starr and David Weinzweig.

“Although we will miss her on the board, she will bring her considerable talent in law to the court,” Arizona Board of Regents Chair Lyndel Manson said in a press release. “I appreciate Regent King’s service to the board during which time she established herself as an advocate for our students and helped advance our priorities including the New Economy Initiative and increasing educational attainment.”

The Supreme Court now has more than one woman for the first time since 2015, with King joining Vice Chief Justice Ann Scott Timmer.

Timmer and Chief Justice Robert Brutinel are the only current justices who weren’t Ducey picks.

Ducey appointed Gould, whose retirement went into effect April 1, along with Justice John Lopez IV after signing a law in 2016 to expand the court from five to seven members.

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appoints Kathryn King to state Supreme Court