January 6, 2011
Scott Graham reported yesterday evening on The Recorder’s blog, Legal Pad, that California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno had submitted his resignation to Governor Brown. This has since been confirmed by The Recorder and the San Jose Mercury News. His resignation is effective February 28. In a telephone statement today, Moreno told The Recorder: “‘I’ve been on the court 24 years, and over nine years on the Supreme Court. . . . The time was ripe for me to seek a new direction.’” He added that he “‘sensed there was a lot of transition in the air, with the chief justice leaving and the change in the administration.’” Regarding his future plans, Justice Moreno said “he is weighing his options, but is considering alternative dispute resolution and private firms.”
The 62-year-old Moreno has been on the Supreme Court since October 2001. He won retention to a new 12-year term just two months ago. A public announcement of Justice Moreno’s retirement is expected later this week.
Until recently, the Court’s membership has been very stable. Before Chief Justice George’s retirement, no justice had left the Court since Justice Janice R. Brown in June 2005. We noted in this post the possibility that Chief Justice George’s retirement might portend additional changes on the Court, though we did not identify Justice Moreno as one of the justices more likely to retire.