SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — The chief justice of the California Supreme Court in San Francisco says concerns about increasing polarization in the country prompted her to give up her Republican Party affiliation.

Tani Cantil-Sakauye said in a telephone interview on Friday that she switched her voter registration to no party preference after the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But she said she had been considering the move for several years.

She said the change was not about rejecting the Republican Party but choosing the label that best fits her personal values.

Cantil-Sakauye was nominated chief justice in 2010 by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Early in her career, she worked for Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, who appointed her to the Sacramento municipal court.

According to the California Secretary of State’s Office, no party preference voters have become the second largest group of registered voters in the state (25.5 percent), outnumbering registered Republicans (25.1 percent) as of August. The largest group of voters in California are registered Democrats, at 44.4 percent.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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