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Marvin Ray Baxter (born January 9, 1940) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California.


Baxter was born in Fowler, California, and was raised on his family's farm. He attended California State University, Fresno, earning a degree in economics. Upon graduation, he became a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs (1962-63), and attended the Hastings College of the Law, from which he earned his law degree in 1966.[1]

He began his legal career as a Fresno County deputy district attorney in 1967. Subsequently, he entered private practice in civil law in 1969.[1] It was during this time he was an associate and then a partner in the Fresno Law firm of Andrews, Andrews, Thaxter, Jones and Baxter where he practiced civil law.

In 1983, he moved back into public service as Appointments Secretary, advising Governor George Deukmejian on judicial and executive appointments.[1]

In December 1988, Governor Deukmejian appointed him to be an Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal for the fifth district. In January 1991, he was appointed associate justice of the Supreme Court of California.[1] He was retained by the electorate in November 2002, with 71.5% percent of the vote.[2]

Judicial philosophy

Baxter prefers not to describe his own judicial philosophy, but a 1993 article in the Los Angeles Times described him as having an "emerging reputation among court observers as cautious, conservative and competent".[3] The article also described a split between observers who considered him a solid part of the Court's conservative majority (led by Malcolm M. Lucas), and others who considered him harder to pin down and praised the legal reasoning of several of his decisions. In 2008, he was part of the dissenting minority in In re Marriage Cases, a 4-3 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in California.

Legal offices
Preceded by
David Eagleson
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c d "Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter". Judicial Council of California. Retrieved 2006-05-29.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Justice Baxter Digs In but Critics Still Harbor Doubts". The Los Angeles Times: p. 3 (Section A). January 19, 1993.  


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