United States v. Arizona — The Judge

I was curious about the District Judge assigned to the case and looked him up.  Neil V. Wake is the judge, unless something changes.  He is a W appointment confirmed in 2004.  Here is the meat of the announcement:

Nominated by President Bush on Oct. 22, 2003, Mr. Wake had his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 22, 2004, and was favorably reported out of committee on March 4, 2004.

A Phoenix native, Mr. Wake, 55, had been in private practice, specializing in commercial, administrative and constitutional litigation, appellate practice and Indian law. He served as a judge pro tempore on the Arizona Court of Appeals in 1985, 1992 and 1996-98, and is co-author of the Arizona Appellate Handbook.

Mr. Wake earned his undergraduate degree from Arizona State University, graduating with distinction in 1971. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1974. While at Harvard, he was a member of the Civil Liberties Law Review.

I like what I read about him:

“You’re not going to be able to peg him,” said U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, who practiced law with Wake and recommended him for the federal bench. Kyl paused for a moment, then reconsidered. “Here’s how you peg him: It’s what the law allows.”

That theme was repeated over and over in discussions about the judge, who, in line with court policy, does not grant interviews.

“It wouldn’t matter if Neil Wake’s own mother were before him as a litigant,” said Jay Heiler, who worked with Wake on legal matters for Gov. Fife Symington’s administration. “She’d better have her case grounded in law.”

* * *

“He has the right background for the business community to like him,” said Leo Beus, a former law partner. “But that doesn’t mean he’ll rule that way. He’ll call it as he sees it.”

His standard Trial Conduct and Decorum procedures also indicate that he is generally a no-nonsense kind of judge.

A very good draw for the first round in a highly political dispute.  Not that it really matters, though, since this one is headed up regardless of the outcome below.

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Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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