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Born: Feb. 15, 1941Appointed: Aug. 6, 1990, by DeukmejianPrevious work of note: Sacramento Superior Court judge 1989-90 (Deukmejian). Sacramento Municipal Court judge 1987-89 (Deukmejian). Special assistant and senior assistant attorney general 1979-83. Executive director of California District Attorneys Association, 1976-79.Law degree: Hastings College of the Law (1967)George Nicholson is the anti-Bird. A longtime prosecutor and the Republican nominee for California attorney general in 1982, Nicholson was active in the 1986 campaign to oust the liberal former chief justice. Appointed to the judiciary the following year, Nicholson has remained true to form: If you want a judge who cares deeply about victims’ rights and putting the bad guys in jail no matter what, Nicholson’s your man. If a scrupulous regard for the civil liberties of criminal defendants is more impotant, then maybe not.People v. Bogle, 41 Cal.App.4th 770, is a good example. In that case a gardener who set his employers’ house on fire — killing them both — was convicted after a jury discovered during deliberations that, contrary to the defendant’s claims, one of his keys opened a safe that contained the employers’ valuables. Rejecting the defendant’s claim of jury misconduct, Nicholson ruled that the jury had not considered “new evidence,” but simply “reexamined the evidence in a slightly different context.” The California Supreme Court, by the way, appeared to agree, denying review.Nicholson’s most notable opinion of recent years may be California Kiwifruit Commission v. Moss, 50 Cal.App.4th 1. Nicholson agreed with central valley fruit growers that a state program which forces them and their competitors to contribute to a statewide fruit promotion campaign unconstutionally infringes on their First Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed, though, in similar case a year later.Technologically savvy, Nicholson has played an active role in modernizing the state appellate courts’ computer operations.Confirmed by a 67-33 percent vote in 1994 election.

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