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Brewer lawyer Lisa Hauser among 13 applicants for AZ Supreme Court

Lisa Hauser, Gov. Jan Brewer's campaign attorney (File photo)

Lisa Hauser, Gov. Jan Brewer's campaign attorney

Eight judges and Gov. Jan Brewer’s campaign attorney are among the 13 applicants for the next Arizona Supreme Court justice.

The court sought applications until Aug. 20 to fill the seat of Justice Michael Ryan, who retired Aug. 6. Now it is up to the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments to send three candidates to Brewer for her to choose.

Brewer will have first-hand familiarity with at least one of the applicants, Lisa Hauser, a prominent elections lawyer.

Hauser represents Brewer’s campaign and in June accused the Citizens Clean Elections Commission of abdicating its responsibility for not seeking help for publicly financed candidates who were forced by a U.S. Supreme Court decision to run their campaigns without the benefit of matching funds.

Seven of the applicants, including Hauser, also applied when there was an opening left by the 2009 retirement of Justice Ruth McGregor.

Five of the applicants are veteran judges on the Arizona Court of Appeals, including the Chief Judge Ann Scott Timmer and Vice Chief Judge Lawrence Winthrop. Three Superior Court judges want to move up to the high court.

Besides Hauser, there are two other private attorneys and one attorney each from the Attorney General’s Office and Pima County Attorney’s Office to round out the field of 13 applicants.

One of the applicants, Judge James Beene of Maricopa County Superior Court, joined the bench just last year. A former prosecutor, Beene said in an interview with the court’s newsletter last year that he always had a love for the workings of government.

The list of applicants also includes Kent Cattani, section chief for the Attorney General’s Capital Litigation and Criminal Appeals Division.

Cattani, who applied last year, has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold death sentences in Arizona and testified before Congress about frustrations capital prosecutors have with the federal appeals system.

The remaining applicants include Judge Robert Brutinel of Yavapai County Superior Court, Judge John Gemmill of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Andrew Gould of Yuma County Superior Court, Diane Johnsen of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Drue Morgan-Birch, a sole practitioner from Tucson, Kenneth Moyer with the firm of Wachtel, Biehn and Malm in Lake Havasu City, Regina Nassen, assistant chief in the civil division of Pima County Attorney’s Office and Judge Maurice Portley of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

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