Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Chief Justice’s Remarks on Justice Kennard’s 20 Years on Court
(The Administrative Office of the Courts provided the following text of remarks made by Chief Justice Ronald M. George at Monday’s sitting of the Supreme Court.)
Yesterday, our esteemed colleague, Justice Joyce L. Kennard, reached the noteworthy milestone of 20 years’ service as a Justice of the California Supreme Court—service that capped her prior public service as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice, Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts, and Justice of the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District before taking office as a Justice of this court on April 5, 1989.
Having come to the United States as an immigrant with modest means after a difficult childhood in Dutch New Guinea and then Holland during World War II and the postwar years, Justice Kennard considers her life and career—as do others familiar with it—to be an extraordinary example of the realization of “the American Dream.”
I speak for all members of this court in extending our warmest congratulations to Justice Kennard on this occasion, and in expressing our deep appreciation to her for the exceptional talents she has brought to the performance of her judicial duties—tireless dedication and energy, legal scholarship, commitment to the rule of law, and the friendship she has extended both toward her colleagues and court staff. These talents have been applied not only in the preparation of opinions for the court, but as well toward administrative improvements in the judicial system—most notably through her leadership role in the successful effort to refashion California’s Rules of Court.
Justice Kennard has authored many landmark decisions during her 20 years on the court, but remains fiercely independent, willing to go her own way when convinced that is the proper course. One of her guiding principles appears on a plaque displayed at the entrance to her chambers. It reads: “Integrity is one of several paths. It distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost.”
As Justice Kennard embarks upon her third decade of service as a Justice of the California Supreme Court, we all wish her well and look forward to her many more years of contributions to the work of the Court.
The Reporter of Decisions is directed to spread these special proceedings upon the minutes of the California Supreme Court for inclusion in the Official Reports of the decisions of this court.
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