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JUDGES GROUP OPPOSES RECALL OF MCMASTER SACRAMENTO — The American Judges Association, meeting in Williamsburg, Va., over the weekend, adopted a resolution opposing the attempted recall of Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster. McMaster ruled last year that the state’s passage of extended domestic partner benefits did not violate Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. His ruling has since been upheld by the Third District Court of Appeal, but the judge’s decision enraged supporters of Prop 22, who launched a recall drive against McMaster. Recall coordinator Tony Andrade said this week that he has been able to collect about 6,000 of the 44,000 he needs to gather in the next 2 1/2 months to qualify the McMaster recall for the ballot. The AJA resolution reads in part that “if judges are to fulfill” their “basic and essential function, they must act without fear of being removed from office based upon the popularity of any specific juridical decision, so long as the decisions made are based upon a good-faith application of the law.” Nineteen years ago, state voters removed from office Chief Justice Rose Bird and two colleagues. In 1996, Orange County Superior Court Judge Nancy Wieben Stock was the target of an unsuccessful recall campaign after she awarded O.J. Simpson custody of his children. Two years later, Chief Justice Ronald George and Justice Ming Chin drew unorganized opposition in their retention elections after voting to strike down a state law requiring minors seeking an abortion to obtain parental consent. — Jill Duman GOVERNOR APPOINTS 3 TO SUPERIOR COURT SACRAMENTO — A prosecutor, a civil litigation practitioner and a private practice attorney specializing in criminal defense and family law are the governor’s newest bench appointees. The governor on Monday named Judith Clark, a supervising deputy district attorney from Murrieta, and Harold Hopp, a private practice attorney from Palm Desert, to the Riverside County Superior Court. The governor also named John Kennelly, a private-practice attorney from Beckwourth, to the Sierra County Superior Court. Clark, 41, joined the Riverside County district attorney’s office in 1989, where she has specialized in prosecuting sexual assault, child abuse and career-criminal cases. She is a graduate of University of San Diego School of Law. She is a Republican and fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Ronald Heumann. Hopp, 45, is of counsel to Quinn, Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, where he has practiced civil litigation since 1990. He earned his J.D. from University of Southern California and he is also a Republican. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Robert Taylor. Kennelly, 51, has been an attorney in private practice since 1985. He is a Democrat who earned his J.D. from Western State University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge William Skillman. — Jill Duman

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