October 1, 2010

The Supreme Court on the ballot

With so much attention on Governor, Senate, and Congressional races, not to mention the usual melange of propositions, it’s easy to overlook that three of the seven California Supreme Court seats are also on the ballot November 2.

Voters will decide in “yes” or “no” votes whether Associate Justices Ming Chin and Carlos Moreno should retain their seats and whether current Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye should be confirmed as California’s new Chief Justice.

Today, the Los Angeles Times recommended a “yes” vote on all three.

The Times called Cantil-Sakauye “an inspired choice as chief justice,” said Chin is “a meticulous and thoughtful centrist,” and praised Moreno as a “soft-spoken justice” who “has been a leader in efforts to improve court oversight of children in foster care.”

Earlier this year, Chin, the chair of the Judicial Council’s Commission for Impartial Courts that issued its final report last December, told a state legislative committee that “he’s ‘getting closer’ to opposing the whole concept of judicial elections.” At his last retention election — in 1998 — he (and Chief Justice George) were targets of anti-abortion forces, but both were retained by wide margins.

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