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Supreme Court Justices

The panel before whom oral arguments will be held consists of:

  • Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye was sworn into office as Chief Justice of California on January 3, 2011. She is the first Asian- Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state's Chief Justice. After former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated her as Chief Justice on July 22, 2010, the California State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission rated her as exceptionally well qualified for the position. At a public hearing on August 25, 2010, she was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, and in a general election on November 2, 2010, an overwhelming majority of voters elected her to that position. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye chairs the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
  • The Honorable Joyce L. Kennard was appointed to the California Supreme Court by Governor George Deukmejian April 1989. Elected November 1990 and reelected to full term November 1994 and November 2006. (Chair of California Judicial Council's Appellate Advisory Committee 1996 to 2005 [oversaw six-year project revising the voluminous rules of court pertaining to the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, mainly to simplify the wording and clarify the meaning of the rules].)
  • The Honorable Marvin R. Baxter was born January 9, 1940 in Fowler (Fresno County), California. He grew up on the family farm and was educated in the local public schools. As a high school student he was active in student government, the student newspaper, and athletics. He was the recipient of a journalism scholarship issued by the San Francisco Press and Union League (1957). He graduated from California State University, Fresno with a degree in Economics. He was active in student government and served as Commissioner of Athletics (1960-61) and Student Body President (1961-62). Honors received at Fresno State included an Outstanding Senior Award. Baxter was selected from nationwide competition as a Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs (1962-63). As one of twelve fellows assigned to Coro's San Francisco office, he worked with corporations, labor unions, legislative and executive bodies, governmental agencies, community organizations, and political campaigns and thereby gained valuable practical experience in the arena of public affairs.
  • The Honorable Kathryn M. Werdegar was appointed to the California Supreme Court by Governor Pete Wilson on May 3, 1994. In November 2002, she was re-elected to a new term of office which began on January 7, 2003. Prior to her elevation to the Supreme Court, she served on the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. Before her appointment to the bench, Justice Werdegar's career highlights included service with the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.; director of the criminal law division of California Continuing Education of the Bar; senior staff attorney with the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court; and professor and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
  • The Honorable Ming W. Chin became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. Governor Pete Wilson appointed him to that position on January 25, 1996. On March 1, he was confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and sworn in by the Governor. Justice Chin previously served as the Presiding Justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, in San Francisco beginning January 2, 1995. He was appointed to that position by Governor Pete Wilson on August 17, 1994, and in November 1994 was elected to a 12- year term. Previously he was an associate justice of that court, having been appointed to that position by former Governor George Deukmejian. Prior to that appointment, he served as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court. Before his appointment to the bench, Justice Chin was a partner in an Oakland law firm, where he specialized in business and commercial litigation.
  • The Honorable Carol A. Corrigan is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court (Appointed December 2005; confirmed January 4, 2006). Her professional and judicial positions have included Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three, 1994 - 2006 (Appointed 1994; confirmed by voters, 1994). Judge, Alameda County Superior Court 1991-1994 (Appointed 1991; elected by voters. 1992). Judge, Oakland, Emeryville Piedmont Judicial District 1987-1991 (Appointed, 1987; elected by voters, 1988). Senior Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County 1985-1987; Deputy District Attorney, same county, 1975-1985. Her educational accomplishments include: B.A., magna cum laude, Holy Names College, 1970 (Student Body President, Founder's Medal). J.D., Univ. of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1975 (Law Journal, Note and Comment Editor). Doctoral program, Clinical Psychology, Saint Louis University, 1970-1972.
  • The Honorable Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. He was confirmed to office by a unanimous vote of the California Commission on Judicial Appointments on August 31, 2011, following his appointment by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on July 26, 2011. The Governor administered the oath of office to Justice Liu in a public ceremony in Sacramento, California on September 1, 2011. Before joining the state's highest court, Justice Liu was Professor of Law at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). His primary areas of expertise are constitutional law, education law and policy, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has published widely on these subjects in books, law reviews, and the general media.