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As expected, President Bush on Friday nominated San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos Bea to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Bea, 68, joins Third District Court of Appeal Justice Consuelo Callahan as Bush’s latest picks to the nation’s largest — and most liberal — appellate court. Both are Hispanic. “I’m honored by the nomination,” Bea said. Bea has been a Superior Court judge since 1990, hearing mostly civil cases. He was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California during the latter days of former President Bush’s presidency, more than a decade ago, but the nomination died when the administrations changed. Bea is a graduate of Stanford University and played on the 1952 Cuban Olympic basketball team. One of his four sons medalled in the 2000 Olympics as well. “He has a great intellect and it’s coupled with a remarkable aptitude for legal reasoning,” said Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith, who was taken under Bea’s wing when he first came on the bench. “He’s not satisfied with a quick or expedient answer. He’s looking for the right answer.” Because of his scholarly approach to the law, lawyers and judges say Bea could make the transition from trial to appellate judge easily. “I think he’s from central casting,” Goldsmith said. “I think he’s perfect for the appellate bench.” Lawrence Callaghan, a partner at Arter & Hadden, said Bea’s experience as a trial court judge will help him on the appellate bench. “I think he’s an excellent appointment,” Callaghan said. Judge Anne Bouliane said she often seeks out Bea to discuss cases and praises his collegiality. “He’s just really nice to work with,” Bouliane said. “It’s not his way or the highway. He’s very flexible.”

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