March 25, 2014
Emily Green reported in yesterday’s Daily Journal [subscription required] that after Justice Joyce Kennard retires at the end of next week, she will participate in deciding cases in which she has already heard argument, but will not sit as a pro tem justice in any future cases. Rather, unless Justice Kennard’s successor is quickly nominated and confirmed, a parade of Court of Appeal justices will get temporary promotions to help the Supreme Court with its traditionally heavy three oral argument calendars in May and June. (We confirmed with the court that there are no plans to appoint Justice Kennard as a pro tem justice for cases to be argued in May or June.)
Justice Kennard’s limited pro tem duties is the route taken by most retiring justices. A recent exception was Justice Moreno, whose decision to not serve as a pro tem justice at all led to a rush of opinion filings before his retirement date.
By our count, there could be up to 27 opinions on which Justice Kennard’s name will appear as a pro tem justice, including decisions in the dozen cases to be argued next week.