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Mize, who heard Newdow custody case, to lead judges

SACRAMENTO - Sacramento Superior Court Judge James Mize begins a one-year term on Oct. 10 as president of the California Judges Association.

Mize is a family law judge who presided over, among others, the custody battle between Michael Newdow and the mother of his daughter, an Elk Grove student. Newdow, an atheist, had sued to prevent his daughter from reciting the phrase "under God" by having it removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out his case in June because he did not have legal custody of the girl.

Mize was elected Aug. 6 by the group's executive board. He succeeds Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eric Taylor.

Mize was appointed to the bench in 2000 after more than two decades in private practice.

The association represents 2,800 active and retired judges and commissioners.