One year from today is Election Day 2022 across the country. In California, besides electing a governor and other state-wide officers, voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on keeping in office various state Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justices. The justices’ terms are 12 years long, but they can appear on the ballot more frequently than that — they face the electorate at the first gubernatorial election after their appointment or nomination is confirmed and, if they’re appointed and elected to replace a justice whose term had not expired, they run when that term does end. (See here and here.)
Next year should see a bumper crop of Supreme Court candidates, with five of the seven justices probably up for election. There haven’t been that many justices on the ballot at the same time in over 30 years.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye — she was elected to a 12-year term in 2010. The Chief Justice has been both noncommittal and positive about whether she will be running for a second 12-year term next year. (See here, here, and here.)
Justice Goodwin Liu — he was elected in 2014 (the first gubernatorial general election after his 2011 appointment) to complete Justice Carlos Moreno’s 12-year term that is expiring. He will be running for a full 12-year term.
Justice Joshua Groban — he will be running in the first gubernatorial general election after his 2018 appointment. If elected next year, he will have to face the voters again in just four years because he is filling Justice Kathryn Werdegar’s 12-year term term that expires in 2026.
Justice Martin Jenkins — he will also be running in the first gubernatorial general election after his appointment, which was in 2020. If he wins election, it will be to a full 12-year term and he will not have to be on the ballot again until 2034 because the term of the justice he is replacing — Ming Chin — is expiring.
Justice TBD — Like Justices Groban and Jenkins, whomever Governor Gavin Newsom appoints to replace recently retired Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar will be running in the first gubernatorial general election after their appointment. The only caveat is that the new justice will be on the 2026 ballot instead of the 2022 ballot if their appointment is confirmed after mid-August 2022. (See here.) If they are on next year’s ballot and are elected, they would have to face the voters again in 2026, because that’s when Justice Cuéllar’s term expires.