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Bales announces July 31 retirement as Arizona chief justice

Gavel shot
Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 14:24:39-05

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court announced Tuesday that Chief Justice Scott Bales will retire from the state high court on July 31 after completing a five-year term as chief justice.

Bales' departure will provide Republican Gov. Doug Ducey with a fifth appointment to the court. Ducey already has made three justices and he will choose one of five nominees recommended by a screening commission to fill a vacancy created by John Pelander's recent retirement.

Bales was appointed a justice in 2005 by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, a fellow Democrat, and he is currently the longest-serving justice and the only Democrat on the seven-member court.

The court announced last November that the justices had selected Justice Robert Brutinel as the next chief justice for a five-year term starting July 1.