Chief Justice George to step down, let Schwarzenegger fill seat *

California Chief Justice Ronald George will retire rather than seek to keep his seat on the state's high court in November's election, the chief justice just announced. The Republican appointee of Pete Wilson is 70. Sounds like he'll stay around until January, but once he fails to file for retention in August Gov. Schwarzenegger will be able to name a successor. George was appointed to the court in 1991, elevated to chief justice five years later, and won retention to a 12-year term in 1998 despite opposition by anti-abortion groups. San Jose Mercury-News, LAT, Chronicle, news release

Updated info on naming of successor, adding links

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