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Justice Ryan to retire from Arizona Supreme Court

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael Ryan announced Tuesday he will retire Aug. 6, providing Gov. Jan Brewer with her second opening to fill on the state’s high court.

Ryan, 64, is a Republican who was a Court of Appeals judge when he was appointed to the five-justice high court by Gov. Jane Hull in 2002.

“Arizona is losing a wonderful judge who is thoughtful, patient, courageous and kind,” Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch said.

Ryan started his judicial career on the Maricopa County Superior Court bench, presiding over such high-profile cases as the criminal trial of former Gov. Evan Mecham and the AzScam legislative bribery scandal. He was a prosecutor before becoming a judge.

A Marine Corps platoon leader in Vietnam, Ryan uses a wheelchair as a result of wounds received in combat.

Arizona governors appoint appellate and Maricopa and Pima County trial court judges from lists of nominees recommended by state commissions.

Brewer, a Republican, appointed Justice John Pelander to fill a Supreme Court vacancy last year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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