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Ducey names 2 to expanded Arizona Supreme Court

Gov. Doug Ducey announced his picks Monday for two additional justices of the state's highest court — which was expanded to seven seats this year in what some derided as a court-packing plan. Tapped were Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Andrew W. Gould and state Solicitor General John R. Lopez.

Gould, 54, and Lopez, 47, are both Republicans.

Before being named an Appeals Court judge in 2011 by then-Gov. Jan Brewer, Gould was a Superior Court judge in Yuma County for a decade. Lopez, who becomes the first Hispanic named as a state justice, has been the state's chief defense lawyer under Attorney General Mark Brnovich. He previously worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Ducey gained the opportunity to name two more justices when he signed a law he backed earlier this year, after the Legislature voted to approve his plan to expand the Supreme Court from five justices to seven. While Democrats and others said the move was a way to shift the balance of the court in a conservative direction, Ducey maintained a larger court would be able to handle more cases.

In January, Ducey named Clint Bolick, an attorney for the right-wing Goldwater Insitute, to the state's top bench.

Unlike federal Supreme Court justices who serve lifetime terms, Arizona's high court justices serve for six years but can be reappointed.

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