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Murray Snow

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Murray Snow
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   7/23/2008 - Present
Preceded by:   Stephen McNamee
Personal History
Born:   1959
Hometown:   Boulder City, NV
Undergraduate:   Brigham Young U., B.A., 1984
Law School:   J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young U., J.D., 1987

Murray Snow is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. He joined the court in 2008 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.[1]

Early life and education

Born in Boulder City, Nevada, Snow graduated from Brigham Young University with his bachelor's degree in 1984. Snow earned his Juris Doctor from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School in 1987.[1]

Professional career

Following law school, Snow worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephen Anderson of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1987 to 1988 before entering private practice in Arizona from 1988 to 2002. Snow was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals where he served from 2002 to 2008.[1]

Judicial career

District of Arizona

On the recommendation of Arizona U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, Snow was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by President George W. Bush on December 11, 2007 to a seat vacated by Stephen McNamee. Snow was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 26, 2008 and received commission on July 23, 2008.[2]

Notable cases

"Sheriff Joe" case (2010-2013)

     United States District Court for the District of Arizona (ORTEGA MELENDRES et al. v. Arpaio et al., No. CV-07-2513-PHX-GMS)

Judge Snow presided in a case on whether to impose sanctions on controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department was sued over its alleged widespread use of racial profiling against Hispanics.[3]

On March 19, 2010, Judge Snow encouraged attorneys representing Maricopa County and affected immigrants who filed suit against the county to settle their case. This was after Judge Snow found grounds for federal sanctions against the sheriff's department for destroying records relating to immigration raids.[4][5]

In May 2013, Judge Snow found that Arpaio and his deputies violated the rights of Latinos due to racial profiling and illegal detentions. As a result of the ruling, the sheriff's department is forbidden from using race as a reason to stop a car or detain individuals to verify citizenship, unless there is "reasonable belief" that a crime was committed.[6]


In August 2013, Judge Snow delayed a ruling on mandatory measures to improve operations of the Maricopa County Sheriff Department. With both sides deadlocked on how best to proceed, Judge Snow allowed until September 18, 2013 to submit briefs. He said, "I presume that you're now leaving it up to me to take your outline and create an order, and that's what I intend to do."[7]

Attorneys for the sheriff and plaintiffs differ on a number of issues, including: requiring deputies to alert dispatch to the reason for a traffic stop before contacting the driver; appointing a monitor to oversee adherence to regulations; and creating an advisory board to improve the relationship between the community and the department.[7]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Stephen McNamee
District of Arizona
Seat #3
Succeeded by:

ArizonaArizona Supreme CourtArizona Court of AppealsArizona Superior CourtArizona Justice CourtsArizona Municipal CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of ArizonaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitArizona countiesArizona judicial newsArizona judicial electionsJudicial selection in ArizonaArizonaTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg