Full Biography for Ronald M. George
BIOGRAPHY OF CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD M. GEORGE
Chief Justice Ronald M. George has provided remarkable judicial leadership for California. His outstanding record of public service encompasses 32 years as a prosecutor and judge. A native of Los Angeles, Chief Justice George graduated from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1961 and Stanford University Law School in 1964.
He began his legal career in 1965 as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, specializing in representing the prosecution in criminal appeals. He appeared for the state of California in six arguments before the United States Supreme Court, two of which involved arguing in support of the constitutionality of the death penalty. He also represented the state on the appeal in the prosecution of Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted of murdering Senator Robert Kennedy.
Chief Justice George was appointed to the bench by four successive governors from both political parties, from Ronald Reagan to Pete Wilson. In 1972, he was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court, and in 1977 was elevated to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. While there, he served as Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division and presided over the Hillside Strangler case. In 1982 he was elected President of the California Judges Association.
Chief Justice George was appointed to the California Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1991 and thereafter was confirmed by the voters for a full term on that court. He became California's 27th Chief Justice in 1996. In evaluating his record, the Commission on Judicial Nominees unanimously ranked him as "Exceptionally Well Qualified," the highest possible rating for a Justice.
During his term, Chief Justice George has ruled on landmark cases and played a major role in obtaining legislation to reduce the lengthy delays in processing death penalty appeals. He is the first Chief Justice to visit courts in all 58 counties, and was instrumental in securing adequate and stable state funding for the court system to better serve the people of California. He is presently engaged in eforts to improve jury duty for those called to serve. Chief Justice George is a marathon runner and avid outdoorsman, and he and his wife Barbara have three grown sons.
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