When the Supreme Court announced its late-May calendar a week ago, it did not say who the pro tem justices would be, which has become the normal procedure.  Today, we know who the pro tems will be.

Today’s announcement illustrates why we say the pro tem assignments are mostly done alphabetically.  Sometimes, a Court of Appeal justice is unable to serve and is slotted in on a later calendar.  So, for late-May, there are four justices with “M” last names, but, for example, Justices William Dato and Ronald Robie will also be sitting with the court.

Some of the assignments are surprising not just because they might be out of alphabetical order, but because the pro tems are returning to the high court sooner than expected, even taking into account the court’s unprecedented need for assistance in filling retired Justice Kathryn Werdegar’s long-vacant seat.  Justice Robie was the pro tem on a case argued just five months ago and decided in February.  Justice Nathan Mihara was the pro tem on a case argued last November and decided in February.  Justice Eileen Moore was the pro tem on a case argued last October and decided last December.  Justice Jeffrey Johnson was the pro tem on a case argued eight months ago and decided last December.  The same is true for Justice Herbert Levy.  (Here and here.)  Justice Harry Hull, Jr. was the pro tem on a case argued eight months ago and decided last November.  It’s unusual, and seemingly at odds with the Supreme Court’s pro tem assignment policy, to have Court of Appeal justices serve so quickly after their last stints.

Here are the late-May pro tem assignments:

Connor v. First Student, Inc.:  Third District Justice Robie.

Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board:  Either Fourth District, Division Two, Justice Douglas Miller or First District, Division Two, Justice Marla Miller.  The calendar says only, “Miller, J.”  We’re guessing it’s the former, because the First District Justice Miller was the pro tem on a case decided less than five months ago.

Kim v. Toyota Motor Corporation:  Fourth District, Division One, Justice Dato.

King v. CompPartners, Inc.:  Sixth District Justice Adrienne Grover.

People v. Powell (Troy Lincoln):  Second District, Division One, Justice Johnson.

People v. Woodruff:  Fifth District Justice Levy.

City of Morgan Hill v. Bushey:  First District, Division One, Justice Sandra Margulies.

Citizens for Fair REU Rates v. City of Redding:  Sixth District Justice Mihara.

People v. Gonzales:  Fourth District, Division Three, Justice Moore.

People v. Powell (Carl Devon):  There are two pro tems — Third District Justice Hull and Fourth District, Division One, Justice Richard Huffman — because Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye is recused.