On August 26, the three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments will consider Governor Gavin Newsom’s nomination — announced yesterday — of Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero to be California’s next chief justice. (The California Courts news release is here.)
The 10:00 a.m. hearing in San Francisco will be webcast live on the California Courts Newsroom.
As when Justice Guerrero’s appointment as an associate justice was confirmed in March, current Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye will chair the Commission and the other members will be California Attorney General Rob Bonta and the senior Court of Appeal Presiding Justice, who is Fourth District, Division Two, Presiding Justice Manuel Ramirez.
If, as is probable, the Commission confirms her nomination, Guerrero will be on the November ballot when voters will choose “yes” or “no” whether to elect her as chief justice.
No confirmation hearing date has yet been set for Judge Kelli Evans, who the Governor said he intends to appoint to take Guerrero’s spot as an associate justice. As we wrote yesterday, it seems that to comply with the state constitution, instead of appointing Evans, Newsom needs to nominate her and to do so by September 15. That would lead to a hearing sooner rather than later and, if confirmed, Evans would face the voters this November rather than four years from now.