Senate Concurrent Resolution 47 calls for “the plaza at the center of the California State Capitol World Peace Rose Garden . . . [to] be designated as the Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird Justice for All Plaza.” The proposed resolution was introduced last month and has been referred to a committee.

Bird was California’s Chief Justice from March 1977 until January 1987.  She and two other justices — Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso — lost bids for new terms at the November 1986 election. She died in 1999.

The resolution has numerous “whereas” clauses, including:

“Rose Bird was known among colleagues and the public as a dedicated protector of justice on the Supreme Court. She was an active writer, penning numerous opinions that upheld California’s environmental laws and consumer protections.”

“Rose Bird was a strong advocate against the unlawful implementation of the death penalty and joined a court majority in 61 cases to return death penalty convictions to the trial court for additional review.”

“Rose Bird was a trailblazer for women in law and has no state recognition for her contributions to the State of California. Few state buildings and parks are named after female contributors to California law.”

[April 26 update: Cheryl Miller in The Recorder — “Bill Would Honor Rose Bird on State Capitol Grounds.” The Senate Governmental Organization Committee yesterday approved the bill by a 10-2 vote and sent it to Appropriations Committee.]

[April 28 update: Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle — “Pioneering Supreme Court justice, rejected by voters, might get new honor at California Capitol.”]


Judges Association to honor former CJ Bird and former Justices Grodin and Reynoso

A Chief Justice as museum piece