In June, the Commission on Judicial Performance ordered Second District, Division One, Justice Jeffrey Johnson removed from office.  (Video of the oral argument before the Commission is here.)  The Commission members concluded that, “by engaging in sexual misconduct, Justice Johnson severely undermined public esteem for the integrity of the judiciary” and that, “given his lack of candor during [the Commission] proceeding, we do not have confidence that he has the fundamental qualities of honesty and integrity required of a judge.”

On Friday, Justice Johnson asked the Supreme Court to review and reverse the Commission’s order.  The petition, in Johnson v. Commission on Judicial Performance, argues that “key factual findings were unsupported by clear and convincing evidence” and that “the commission’s unprecedented decision to remove Justice Johnson is disproportionate to any prior decision, more severe than is consistent with the commission’s obligation to protect the public, and threatens to damage the court’s institutional credibility with the public.”

The Commission has until October 13 to answer the petition and Justice Johnson will have 20 days to file a reply.  (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 9.60(b).)  The petition, answer, and reply “will serve as briefs on the merits in the event review is granted.”  (Rule 9.60(c).)

I haven’t located any deadlines for the court to rule on the petition, although it apparently must issue a decision within 120 days if it grants the petition (Cal. Const., art. VI, section 18, subd. (d)).  On the last petition challenging a Commission order to remove a judge (Laettner v. Commission on Judicial Performance), the court in June summarily denied the petition, which had been filed four months earlier.

Justice Johnson is disqualified from acting as a judge, without loss of salary, while the petition is pending.  (Cal. Const., art. VI, section 18, subd. (a).)