Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to name Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye as the next chief justice, meaning California’s Supreme Court could have its first female majority if the nomination to replace retiring Chief Justice Ron George is approved by voters. The state could also see its first Asian American heading up the high court.

Cantil-Sakauye was a surprise nominee who rose through the trial courts in Sacramento.

“She is a careful jurist who is in the judicial mainstream, and not likely, in many respects, to provoke much controversy, I don’t think,” said
UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson.

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A consensus builder, Johnson says she a home-grown product.

“She comes from a very humble background and I’m proud to say she’s a graduate of the UC Davis School of Law as well as an undergraduate of UC Davis,” said Johnson. “She’s a product of the public school system, she went to McClatchy High School in Sacramento. She has worked hard and has an incredible amount of experience in the district attorney’s office and as a judge, and at every level in the state of California.”

In 2003 she was recognized by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association for being a trailblazer.

Cantil-Sakauye needs voter confirmation in November.


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