Gov. Jerry Brown’s nomination of Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a Mexican immigrant to the United States, to the California Supreme Court was confirmed unanimously on Thursday by the state Commission on Judicial Appointments. The nomination next will appear before voters on the ballot in November.
Cuéllar received a rating of exceptionally well qualified from a state bar evaluating commission, according to a Los Angeles Times article. When the nomination first was announced, it sparked attention for the statement it made about diversity on the bench (see Gavel Grab).No comments
California’s Assembly is weighing a Senate-passed bill to require that political ads aired on TV for ballot measures disclose their three greatest original funders. A spate of editorials is calling attention to the proposal shortly before the legislature finishes its business for the year.
A San Jose Mercury News editorial was headlined, “Truth in campaign advertising should be the law,” and it said the bill’s powerful opponents include the Service Employees International Union and the California Teachers Association. The Los Angeles Daily News editorialized, “California campaign cash disclosure bill needs final push.” A San Francisco Chronicle editorial said, “Do-or-die time for campaign funding disclosure bill.”No comments
An election in 1986 brought sweeping changes to the California Supreme Court in what was compared to “a 100-year flood,” because of its unlikelihood, and now according to At the Lectern, another event may not be so far away.
The article cites The New Politics of Judicial Elections reports co-authored by Justice at Stake and The Brennan Center for Justice detailing how judicial elections across the country have become more expensive and politicized.No comments
The budget cuts to the state court system in California is having far-reaching ramifications.
According to East Bay Express, Alameda County is now charging high fees to look at court documents online. Some legal experts say may be unconstitutional.
“Any time you impose a fee or other barrier to access, that’s going to have some effect on those First Amendment rights,” David Greene, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the paper. The high fees affect “the public’s ability to monitor litigation and access the historical record,” he added.
Budget cuts over the past several years have slashed more than $1 billion from the state court system and have left many courts struggling to provide services.
“Sound governance necessitates the implementation of comprehensive cost-recovery strategies,” said Leah Wilson, the executive officer of the Alameda County Superior Court. “The new fees do help to alleviate the difficult budget situation caused by declining state funding.”
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has repeatedly asked the legislature to restore and increase court funding.
Meantime, access to justice will be a little more difficult for those in the Santa Barbara area. According to Edhat, two Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara clerks’ offices will close in October.No comments
Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling halting action on a state ballot initiative that would have asked California voters’ opinions regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C. (2010), the Los Angeles Times reports.
The provision, which would have had no binding legal effect, was contested because it would “not change state law.”
The ballot initiative is now on hold pending court review. Both sides agree that this decision means that the question will not appear on this year’s ballot.No comments
During this judicial election season, groups from various parts of the nation are striving to improve the reality of diversity in courts.
A coalition of eight Asian American bars denounced the lack of Asians among Gov. Jerry Brown’s 10 new judicial appointments to the California Superior Court in mid-July “as lagging behind Northern California’s demographics,” INQUIRER.net reported.
The Coalition of Asian Pacific Islander Bar Associations of Northern California stated that Gov. Brown “lags far behind the record of his Republican predecessor, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appointed 13 Asian American judges in Northern California during his two terms.” Read moreNo comments
Gov. Jerry Brown’s nomination of Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a Mexican immigrant to the United States, to the California Supreme Court is sparking attention for the statement it makes about diversity.
The nomination represents “a statement to the rest of the nation as we go through this backlash against immigrants,” said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, according to a San Francisco Chronicle article.
California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg described the nomination as “a timely reminder that our Golden State was forged by disparate immigrant communities who pushed frontiers and who, together, recognized a common strength in diversity.” Read moreNo comments
Gov. Jerry Brown has nominated Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a Stanford law professor and Mexican-born immigrant to the United States, to the California Supreme Court.
Cuéllar has served under Presidents Obama and Clinton and has an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and advanced degrees from Yale Law School and Stanford, according to the Los Angeles Times. If confirmed, Cuéllar would be the only Latino serving on the state’s highest court, NBC News reported.
In commending Brown’s choice, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) said, “It is vital that the state’s highest court reflect the full diversity of its residents.” Read moreNo comments
California Gov. Jerry Brown said he will allow citizens to vote this fall on an advisory measure asking Congress to revise the U.S. Constitution and overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Citizens United was “wrongly decided and grossly underestimated the corrupting influence of unchecked money on our democratic institutions,” the governor said in a message to legislators, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, he said the advisory measure would have no legal effect and he would not sign it.
In Massachusetts, meanwhile, the state House has passed legislation to require greater public disclosure by super PACs, and the Senate will consider it. Read moreNo comments
A primary contest for a Los Angeles Superior Court seat is likely to see record spending by one of two candidates, Deputy District Attorney Helen Kim, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports.
Kim’s campaign had raised more than $853,000 and spent more than $415,000 by May 17. The primary will be held June 3. Her campaign’s next spending report will be due July 31.
The campaign of Deputy District Attorney Alison Matsumoto Estrada, opposing Kim, had raised $144,000 and had less than $17,000 on hand 10 days ago. The past record spending for a Los Angeles Superior Court judgeship in a primary contest was $450,000, in a race two years ago.
Donors to the Kim and Estrada campaigns included attorneys and judges.No comments