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Richard Anthony Paez (born May 5, 1947) is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.



Paez received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University in 1969. He attended the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley and graduated in 1972.[1]


  • Staff attorney, California Rural Legal Assistance, 1972-1974
  • Staff attorney, Western Center on Law and Poverty, 1974-1976
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, California, 1976-1981
  • Senior counsel, 1976-1978
  • Director of litigation, 1978-1979
  • Deputy director for litigation, 1979-1980
  • Acting executive director and director of litigation, 1980-1981
  • Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, California, 1981-1994

Paez was confirmed by Senate on March 9, 2000 by a 59-39 vote, more than four years after President Bill Clinton first nominated him to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Paez waited 1,506 days to be confirmed, which at that time was the longest wait for a vote by any judicial nominee in U.S. history.

In a 2009 decision, he held that a San Francisco resolution urging the Vatican to withdraw a directive against same-sex adoptions does not violate the Establishment Clause. [2]

Personal life

Paez was the second Mexican American to sit on the bench of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a district that covers Los Angeles [3]

Paez hails from Utah.

He is married, with a son and daughter.





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