The Supreme Court today announced its December calendar, showing that a temporary justice will be sitting on each of the four cases to be argued. We thought that today’s confirmation of Justice Martin Jenkins to fill the vacancy created by Justice Ming Chin’s retirement would end the most recent parade of pro tem justices, but Judicial Council spokesperson Cathal Conneely says the court anticipates there won’t be a swearing-in ceremony for Justice Jenkins until some time in December after the oral arguments.
The delay might be attributable to Jenkins wanting to first finish up his old job as Governor Gavin Newsom’s judicial appointments secretary. Is that allowed?
Under the California constitution, Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointment of Jenkins to the court became “effective when [Jenkins was today] confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.” Another constitutional provision provides, however, “during the term for which the judge was selected[, the judge] is ineligible for public employment or public office other than judicial employment or judicial office.”
In any event, the December calendar, like all arguments since April and for the foreseeable future, will be remote and based in San Francisco (see here, here, and here). The pro tems — Court of Appeal justices assigned on a mostly alphabetical basis — will be named later.
On December 1, in San Francisco, the court will hear the following cases (with the issue presented as summarized by court staff or stated by the court itself):
O.G. v. Superior Court: Did Senate Bill No. 1391 (Stats. 2018, ch. 1012), which eliminated the possibility of transfer to adult criminal court for crimes committed when a minor was 14 or 15 years old, unconstitutionally amend Proposition 57? The court granted review in November 2019 (see also here). There are a bunch of amicus curiae briefs in this case, including one by the Attorney General that was prompted by a court invitation.
People v. Wilson: This is an automatic direct appeal from an April 2000 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such cases. Counsel was appointed in May 2005. Briefing was completed in March 2015.
People v. Chhoun: This is an automatic direct appeal from a January 2000 judgment of death. The court’s website does not list issues for such cases. Counsel was appointed in September 2005. Briefing was completed in July 2016.
[November 11 update: The gap between Justice Jenkins’s confirmation and his taking office]