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Andrew Hurwitz

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Andrew Hurwitz
Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   Pres. Barack Obama
Active:   06/12/2012-Present
Preceded by:   Mary M. Schroeder
Past post:   Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
Past term:   2003-2012
Personal History
Born:   1947
Hometown:   New York, NY
Undergraduate:   Princeton University, 1968
Law School:   Yale Law School, 1972

Andrew D. Hurwitz is a federal judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He joined the court in 2012 after an appointment from President Barack Obama. At the time of appointment, he was the vice chief justice of the five-member Arizona Supreme Court.[1][2]


Hurwitz earned his A.B. in public and international affairs, cum laude, from Princeton University in 1968, and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1972.[1][2]

Professional career

  • 2003-2012: Justice, Arizona Supreme Court
  • 2002: Co-chair, Transition Team for Governor Napolitano
  • 2002: Adjunct professor, Arizona State College of Law
  • 2001: Distinguished visitor from practice, Arizona State College of Law
  • 1998: Judge pro tempore, Arizona Court of Appeals Division I
  • 1996: Judge pro tempore, Arizona Court of Appeals Division I
  • 1995-2003: Attorney in private practice, Osborn Maledon
  • 1994-1995: Visiting professor of law, Arizona State College of Law
  • 1994: Judge pro tempore, Arizona Court of Appeals Division I
  • 1988: Chief of staff, Arizona Governor Rose Mofford
  • 1988: Adjunct professor, Arizona State College of Law
  • 1988-1996: Arizona Board of Regents
1992-1993: President, Arizona Board of Regents

Judicial career

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

On November 2, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Hurwitz to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The seat was vacated by Mary M. Schroeder.[3] Obama commented on the nomination, stating,

Justice Hurwitz has proven himself to be not only a first-rate legal mind but a faithful public servant. It is with full confidence in his ability, integrity, and independence that I nominate him to the bench of the United States Court of Appeals.[4][5]

Hurwitz was rated unanimously "Well Qualified" by the American Bar Association. He had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 26, 2012, and you can find his Committee Questionnaire here and his Questions for the Record here.[6]

In February 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 in favor of Hurwitz joining the Ninth Circuit.[7]

On June 12, 2012, the United States Senate confirmed Hurwitz to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with a voice vote.[8][9]

Arizona Supreme Court


2006 election

Arizona Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2006 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
For retention Green check mark transparent.png 793,556 77.1%
Against retention 235,396 22.9%
  • Click here for 2006 General Election Results from the Arizona Secretary of State.

Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance rating

The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously voted that Hurwitz met judicial performance standards. The JPR Commission simply votes if a judge meets or does not meet performance standards based on statistical information and information gathered from the public. The survey is also filled out by those presiding judges, attorneys, and superior court justices who rate the judge based on a five-tier system from poor to superior. The percentages shown below indicate what percent of the survey respondents selected superior, very good, or satisfactory.[10]

Summary categories Attorneys Superior Court Judges
Legal Ability 97% 100%
Integrity 97% 100%
Communication Skills 97% -
Judicial Temperament 97% -
Administrative Performance 98% 100%
Administrative Skills - -

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Hurwitz received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.61, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of 0.1 that justices received in Arizona. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[11]

Notable cases

Bloggers have same protection as journalists from defamation suits (2014)

Crystal Cox, author of the site, was sued by Kevin Padrick and his company, Obsidian Finance, over statements she wrote on her website. Padrick and Obsidian claimed that the statements were defamatory in nature. The federal district court found for the plaintiffs on just one statement; the rest of Cox’s statements were dismissed as protected opinions. Cox contended she was a journalist, but the district court asked for proof before it would accept the argument. In the end, she could offer no proof, and Padrick and Obsidian were awarded $2.5 million in damages, which included punitive damages. Cox appealed the ruling.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled on January 17, 2014, in an opinion written by Judge Andrew Hurwitz, that bloggers have the same protection from defamation suits as journalists. That protection requires the plaintiffs to prove in court that the blogger used actual malice when posting the statements online. That phrase "actual malice" is defined in the landmark case New York Times v. Sullivan as knowingly or recklessly making false statements. In other words, the plaintiff has to prove that what the defendant said was untrue and knew it to be untrue when it was said. Further, the court held that the another benchmark defamation case applies to bloggers: Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. That case gives private individuals a right to sue for defamation, but they may only obtain actual damages, not punitive damages.

The Ninth Circuit found that Padrick, who was the subject of the one remaining statement made by Cox, was a private individual because the statements were made about his role as a bankruptcy trustee appointed by a court. Therefore, he was unable to receive punitive damages. As a result, the Ninth Circuit remanded the case back to federal court for retrial on Cox’s one statement.


Blurred Lines: 9th Circuit Applies Same First Amendment Protections to Bloggers as Traditional Media," January 24, 2014]

Judgment in sobriety case overturned by Ninth Circuit (2014)

In April 2014, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, comprised of Judges Hurwitz, Stephen Reinhardt and John Noonan, reversed a finding in a criminal drunk driving case made by Judge Anthony Ishii of the Eastern District of California. Writing for the majority, Judge Noonan ruled that the defendant driver’s rights were violated when park rangers told him the wrong information concerning the consequences of refusing a field sobriety test.


Shark fin ban case (2013)

     Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Chinatown Neighborhood Association v. Brown, 13-15188)

Judge Hurwitz was a member of a three-judge panel that ruled a ban on shark fins was not racially driven. Along with Judge John Noonan and Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Hurwitz heard a case where Chinese-Americans were attempting to have an injunction issued on a California law that banned the practice of shark finning. The process, which involved catching sharks, removing the fins, and returning the dead shark back to the water was banned in 2012. The Chinatown Neighborhood Association asked for the injunction on the grounds that the law, which took effect in 2012, was racist, since shark fin soup is a common dish and tradition in the Chinese-American community. Judge Phyllis Hamilton, a district court judge, ruled that the legislators who drafted the law had no intention of discriminating against the Chinese-Americans and denied an injunction. The Chinatown Neighborhood Association then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the three-judge panel affirmed the lower court's ruling, stating,
The District Court did not abuse its discretion in determining that Chinatown failed to prove a likelihood of irreparable harm... Chinatown offered only evidence suggesting that business owners would suffer some economic harm from operation of the Shark Fin Law.[12][5]

Awards and associations

  • 2004: Member, Federal Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee
  • 2002-Present: Member, American Law Institute
  • 2001: Distinguished visitor from practice, Arizona State University
  • 1999-2003: Board of directors, Children's Action Alliance
  • 1997-Present: Master, Horace Rumpole Inn of Court
  • 1994-1995: Visiting professor of law, Arizona State University, Civil Procedure
  • 1989-2003: Director, Arizona State University Research Park
  • 1989-1990: Chair, City of Phoenix, Street Environment Committee
  • 1986-1988: Chair, City of Phoenix, Neighborhood Improvement Committee
  • 1986-1988: Board of directors, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
  • 1986-1987: Examination and bar review committee, State Bar of Arizona
  • 1985-1990: Member, Committee on Rules of Professional Conduct State Bar of Arizona
  • 1983-Present: Member, Princeton Alumni Schools Committee[1][2]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Mary M. Schroeder
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by:

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