Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, July 23, 2010


Page 3


Appointments Commission Sets Hearing on Chief Justice Nomination


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Commission on Judicial Appointments said yesterday that it has scheduled a public meeting Aug. 25 to consider Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nomination of Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye to become chief justice of California.

The meeting is set for Wednesday Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom at the Earl Warren Building at 350 McAllister Street in San Francisco.

Members of the commission who will consider Cantil-Sakauye’s nomination are Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the commission’s chair; Attorney General Jerry Brown; and Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of Div. Three of this district’s Court of Appeal, the senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal.

The commission is soliciting comments and testimony on the nomination. The deadline for written comments and requests to testify in person is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18. Under the commission’s guidelines, requests to speak must indicate whether the witness will testify in support or opposition to the nominee, and include a summary of the facts on which any testimony or opinion will be based and relevance to the nominee’s qualification.

The commission requests that correspondence be addressed to the chief justice at the Supreme Court, 350 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94102, directed to the attention of the secretary of the commission.

The California Constitution specifies that a gubernatorial appointment to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal is “effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.”

Schwarzenegger on Wednesday nominated Cantil-Sakauye to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by George’s announcement last week that he is not seeking retention in the November 2010 election and will step down when his term expires Jan. 2.

If confirmed by Sept. 16, as required by Art. VI, Sec. 16 of the California Constitution, her name will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot for voter approval. However, if she is not confirmed by then, the spot will remain empty and the power to name the next chief justice will go to whoever succeeds Schwarzenegger as governor in January.

Cantil-Sakauye, 50, will be California’s first Filipina chief justice if confirmed, and her presence on the court would make a majority of its justices women for the first time in history. Her age also makes it possible that she could serve as chief justice for the next 20 years.

Schwarzenegger appointed Cantil-Sakauye to the Third District in Sacramento in 2005. Then-Gov. Pete Wilson appointed her to the Sacramento Superior Court in 1997, and then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court in 1990.

A Republican, she worked for Deukmejian as the governor’s deputy legislative secretary from 1989 to 1990, and his deputy legal affairs secretary from 1988 to 1989. She attended college and law school at UC Davis, and served for four years as a deputy district attorney in Sacramento after joining the State Bar in 1984.

Cantil-Sakauye is a member of the California Judicial Council, and is vice chair of the Rules and Projects Committee and Judicial Recruitment and Retention Working Group. She is a member of the Commission on Impartial Courts, chair of the Judicial Branch Financial Accountability and Efficiency Advisory Committee and president of the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court.


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