Four years after he became eligible, U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen kept coming up with excuses for not taking a well-deserved retirement: There was always something that needed to be done in the Laredo Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, he says.
So on May 31, after exactly 30 years of presiding over what has become one of the busiest federal criminal dockets in the United States, Kazen, 69, finally relented and gave up his active status. But instead of stepping off the bench, he’ll take senior status and keep taking a full load of cases. By design, his decision is more about Laredo than himself.
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