Chief Justice of Cal Supreme Court steps down

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George gestures as he speaks during a session at the California Supreme court March 4, 2008 in San Francisco, California.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George gestures as he speaks during a session at the California Supreme court March 4, 2008 in San Francisco, California. Pool/Getty Images

The Chief Justice of California’s Supreme Court announced today that he’s leaving the job. KPCC’s state capitol reporter Julie Small says that after 38 years of judicial service, Chief Justice Ron George will not run for re-election.

(Audio: KPCC's Alex Cohen speaks with Chief Justice Ron George.)
The Chief Justice said he’s getting out while he’s still at the top of his game. 

In a written statement, Chief Justice Ronald George said he’s satisfied with his 19 years on the California Supreme Court. 

George wrote: “No person could ask for a more rewarding experience than engaging in a common effort to give meaning to the rule of law by collaboratively crafting judicial opinions” --opinions he said are important to all Californians and to the nation. 

Governor Pete Wilson first appointed George to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1991 and as Chief Justice five years after that. When his term ends next January 2nd, George’s opinions will span 50 volumes of the Official Supreme Court Reports. 

The 70 year-old Chief Justice said that he’s still young enough to do the job. But added that at this point in his life, he couldn’t resist the prospect of spending time with his family, reading, and traveling.

Governor Schwarzenegger has until mid-September to nominate a new chief justice for the California Supreme Court. George plans to remain until his term ends right after the new year.

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