According to the Associated Press, Chief Justice Ronald George announced Wednesday that he would retire from the Supreme Court of California at the end of his term in January. George, who is known for his opinion in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, said in a statement that he plans to return to private life “while the proverbial music still plays.”

George, who was a former deputy state attorney general, was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1972 and Superior Court in 1987.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, George said that he was making the announcement now in time for Gov. Schwarzenegger to nominate a successor.

George has been praised for his administrative accomplishments, which include bringing all 58 county court systems under state control.

“He is one of our great chief justices in terms of his administration of the courts,” Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen told the Associated Press.

George is 70 years old.

LA Weekly