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Arizona governor appoints new Supreme Court justice

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed a state court of appeals judge to fill a vacancy on the Arizona Supreme Court.

Ducey on Friday named James P. Beene to the state’s high court. He replaces Justice John Pelander, who retired on March 1.

Beene has served on the court of appeals since 2016 and was previously a Maricopa County Superior Court judge for 7 years. He’s also served as a county and state prosecutor and as a legislative analyst in the Arizona Senate.

Ducey chose Beene from a list of five nominees chosen by the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments. He will have another post to fill July 31 when Chief Justice Scott Bales retires.

Beene is 54 and earned his law degree at the University of Arizona College of Law in 1991.

— This story has been corrected to show the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments picked the nominees.