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Why would a federal judge with life tenure take steps to leave the post he’s occupied for 10 years to go to what some might consider a less prestigious court?

Several jurists — including two ex-federal judges who took similar paths in recent years — say there could be any number of reasons why San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge Martin Jenkins recently applied for a seat on the state appellate court. Among them: higher pay, an often favorable retirement plan, a more scholarly examination of cases or just plain-old job burnout.

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