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U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. won’t be replacing Janice Rogers Brown on the California Supreme Court. England, one of three names Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent to the state’s Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission last month, has withdrawn from consideration, said his assistant, Stephanie Deutsch. That appears to leave two candidates, 3rd District Court of Appeal Justice Vance Raye and 1st District Justice Carol Corrigan. Three judicial branch sources familiar with the selection process say the JNE Commission hasn’t sent forms out on any other nominees. Raye, who like hundreds of lawyers and judges was in San Diego on Friday, where the State Bar and California Judges Association are holding their annual weekend meetings, declined to comment. Corrigan couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. Julie Soderlund, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said Friday that she wouldn’t confirm or deny that one of the candidates had withdrawn their name from the race. Two people familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous, said England, 50, apparently had concerns about the state’s retirement system — the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS — which would require him to serve 20 years before being eligible for full retirement benefits. Also, as a federal judge, England, who sits on the district court for the Eastern District of California, has lifetime tenure, whereas state Supreme Court justices must be confirmed by California voters and stand periodically for retention. In August, two months after Brown left the state court for the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a spokeswoman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office had said the governor had sent “a few” names to the JNE Commission for evaluation as possible replacements. Gov. George Deukmejian appointed Raye to the 3rd District in Sacramento in 1991. Raye, 59, served as an Air Force captain in Vietnam from 1970-74, and was an assistant staff judge advocate at California’s Beale Air Force Base. Like Brown, and England, he is African-American. Gov. Pete Wilson appointed Corrigan, a former prosecutor in Alameda County, Calif., to San Francisco’s 1st District in 1994. Soon after, she changed her voter registration from Democrat to Republican. She’s handled some high-profile assignments on the bench, including leading a Judicial Council task force charged with converting the state’s jury instructions into plainer language. Three conferences — the State Bar of California’s annual meeting, the California Judges Association’s annual conference and the statewide Judicial Branch conference sponsored by the California Judicial Council — were held this weekend at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

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