Friday, March 10, 2017

Werdegar's seat: Let the Speculation Begin!

Today's DJ presents Governor can shape his state high court legacy with next justice, which starts out by saying that "Gov. Jerry Brown has a rare opportunity to appoint a majority of justices on California's highest court once Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar officially steps down in August."
"Filling Justice Werdegar's seat will create an undisputed majority of four Brown appointees," said David A. Carrillo, executive director of the California Constitution Center at UC Berkeley School of Law. "If he keeps with past practice and appoints someone young, we could see a Brown majority on the court that lasts for 20 years. That's a legacy."
Naturally the Gov's office "declined" to reveal front-runners to fill the vacancy. The DJ then speculates that if an academic is in play, it could be UCLA Rachel Moran or Southwestern's Christopher David Ruiz Cameron. UC Davis Dean Kevin Johnson, a "name floated in the past" "ruled himself out of consideration ..." Johnson also said "At some point, you're going to need a Southern Californian," Johnson said. "It is kind of rare and kind of odd for such a huge part of the state to not have somebody in a seven-justice court."

The DJ also notes that "If the governor sought to break ground yet again, he could look to 1st District Court of Appeal Justices Jim Humes or Therese M. Stewart." "Brown appointed Humes as California's first openly gay appellate justice in 2012" and "appointed Stewart as the state's first openly lesbian state appellate justice in 2014."