Richard Paez

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Richard Anthony Paez
Richard A. Paez 13.JPG
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Assumed office
March 14, 2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Cecil F. Poole
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
In office
June 16, 1994 – March 17, 2000
Appointed by Bill Clinton
Preceded by Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Succeeded by S. James Otero
Personal details
Born Richard Anthony Paez
(1947-05-05) May 5, 1947 (age 70)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Education Brigham Young University (B.A.)
UC Berkeley School of Law (J.D.)

Richard Anthony Paez (born May 5, 1947) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Paez received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1969. He attended the UC Berkeley School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1972.

Career[edit]

Paez began his career as a staff attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance, from 1972 to 1974, then as a staff attorney for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, from 1974 to 1976. He joined the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles in 1976 as senior counsel, was director of litigation from 1978 to 1979 and deputy director for litigation, from 1979 to 1980, then was acting executive director and director of litigation, from 1980 to 1981. Paez then became a Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal Court from 1981 to 1994.

Federal judicial service[edit]

Following his March 9, 1994, nomination by President Bill Clinton, confirmation by the United States Senate on June 15, 1994, and reception of commission on June 16, 1994, Paez became the second Mexican American to sit on the bench of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a district that covers Los Angeles.[1]

Paez was confirmed by Senate on March 9, 2000, by a 59-39 vote, more than four years after President Clinton first nominated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Paez waited 1,506 days to be confirmed, which at that time was the longest wait for a vote by any judicial nominee in U.S. history. The campaign against Paez's confirmation was led by Senators Robert C. Smith of New Hampshire and Jeff Sessions of Alabama over assertions that Paez and other 9th Circuit judges were too liberal. Then Vice President Al Gore interrupted his campaign to fly back to Washington to cast his vote in support of Paez.[2]

Notable cases[edit]

In a 2009 decision, he held that a San Francisco resolution urging the Vatican to withdraw a directive against same-sex adoptions does not violate the Establishment Clause.[3]

In a 2011 decision, he issued the majority opinion upholding a lower court's blocking of the most controversial parts of the Arizona SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law from taking effect.[4]

Personal[edit]

He is married to Diane Erickson, with a daughter, Lisa, and son, David.[5]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Seat established by 104 Stat. 5089
Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California
1994–2000
Succeeded by
S. James Otero
Preceded by
Cecil F. Poole
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
2000–present
Incumbent