February 11, 2014
In today’s Daily Journal [subscription required], Emily Green reports that Justice Joyce Kennard, the longest serving justice on the California Supreme Court, has announced her retirement in a letter to Governor Brown. She will step down effective April 5 after 25 years on the Court. Justice Kennard has been known for her keen intellect, her independence, and the frequency with which she penned concurring and dissenting opinions.
As Green notes, “Kennard’s retirement leaves [Governor] Brown with his second appointment to the court, and a chance to name another Democrat on a Republican-dominated court. There will likely be considerable pressure for him to name a Latino judge to the court, which has been without one since Carlos R. Moreno stepped down in 2011.” Green may well be correct. In addition, might there be pressure to name a Southern Californian to a court dominated by justices from Northern California? And might there be pressure to name another woman to a post so long held by a woman? Only time will tell who replaces Justice Kennard, but we will be sure to post updates as the situation develops.
UPDATE: Several media sources have now published articles regarding Justice Kennard’s retirement. Among them are this article by Bay Area public radio station KQED, this one by Maura Dolan in the Los Angeles Times, and this article by Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury News.