Appeals court applicant lifts quotes from two Supreme Court justices' confirmation hearings

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Updated: A lawyer applying for a seat on the Arizona Court of Appeals lifted lines from confirmation hearing remarks by two Supreme Court justices without attributing the source.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, lawyer Kristina Reeves used passages from confirmation speeches by Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Samuel A. Alito Jr. Reeves used their lines in her answer to a question about why she is seeking a judicial seat.

The article lists several examples of lifted quotes, including these:

• Reeves wrote, “For all its imperfections, the rule of law in this nation truly is a wonder, and it is no wonder that it is the envy of the world.” Gorsuch said, “And for all its imperfections, I believe that the rule of law in this nation truly is a wonder. And that it’s no wonder that it’s the envy of the world.”

• Reeves wrote, “Putting on a robe should remind a judge that it’s time to lose her ego and open her mind.” Gorsuch said, “Putting on a robe reminds us that it’s time to lose our egos and open our minds.”

Reeves wrote, “A legal case isn’t just some number or a name; it is a person, it is a life story.” Gorsuch said, “A legal case isn’t just some number or a name but a life story.”

• Reeves wrote, “A judge who likes every outcome she reaches is probably a pretty bad judge.” Gorsuch said, “A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is probably a pretty bad judge.”

• Reeves wrote and Alito said that good judges are “always open to the possibility of changing their minds based on the next brief that they read, or the next argument that is made by an attorney who is appearing before them, or a comment that is made by a colleague … .”

Doug Cole, a former member of the Arizona Commission on Appellate Court Appointments, told the Arizona Capitol Times that the copying makes it less likely that Reeves will advance to an interview. In the past, candidates didn’t advance for issues as small as typographical errors and grammar mistakes, he said.

Eleven lawyers have applied for an open spot on the appellate bench. After its review, the commission submits at least three candidates to the governor.

Reeves did not respond to requests for comment by the Arizona Capitol Times. She is a lawyer in private practice and a former assistant attorney general who handled appellate-level death penalty appeals.

Reeves decided to withdraw her application Friday.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

Updated June 17 at 1:16 p.m. to reflect Reeves’ decision to withdraw her application.

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