The Commission on Judicial Appointments just unanimously voted to confirm Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero’s nomination to be California’s next chief justice. The action clears the way for her to be on the November ballot and, if elected, to become chief justice on January 2.

The Commission members — current Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who opted not to run for a second 12-year term; California Attorney General Rob Bonta; and Fourth District, Division Two, Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Manuel Ramirez — heard the chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation call Justice Guerrero “the ideal choice to be California’s next Chief Justice” (see here). They also heard similar praise from three other witnesses, including one of Guerrero’s current colleagues, Justice Martin Jenkins. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye called Guerrero “an inspired choice.”

Justice Guerrero will be running in November for a 12-year term as chief justice. She will be joined on the ballot by three current colleagues — Justices Goodwin Liu, Joshua Groban, and Jenkins. (See here.)

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced his intention to appoint Judge Kelli Evans to take Justice Guerrero’s place as a Supreme Court associate justice. However, Judge Evans will not need to stand for election until 2026. (See here.)


Greg Moran has a detailed piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune that includes an analysis of Justice Guerrero’s Court of Appeal opinions

Cheryl Miller in The Recorder

Don Thompson for the Associated Press

Maria Dinzeo for Courthouse News Service

Kevin Rector in the Los Angeles Times

Raoul Lowery Contreras in the Times of San Diego — “Justice in California Now Speaks Both English and Spanish”]