Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jerry Brown's Legacy at the High Court

Image result for justice grodinThat's the title of today's article by retired Justice Joseph Grodin (appointed by Gov. Brown to the Supreme Court in 1982). He explains that with Justice Werdegar's retirement, Gov. Brown will have the opportunity to appoint his 11th justice to the Cal Supreme Court. He's already appointed more justices than any previous Governor.

Jerry Brown (along with other recent governors) has contributed to what is, in terms of gender and ethnic background, probably the most diverse court in the land. Such diversity on a court is more than a matter of symbol or political correctness. There are studies which show, and I can attest from my own experience, that diversity has an effect on the nature and quality of discussion which takes place within a deliberative body, enhancing understanding and empathy.
Jerry Brown's appointments over the years have been in keeping with might broadly be characterized as a liberal tradition in the sense that the judges he has appointed have displayed a sensitivity to the impact that a court's decisions have upon real people, to the many inequities which exist in our society, and by their understanding of the effect that legal doctrine may have on the plight of the under-or unrepresented.