For more information about Supreme Court Justices and Appellate Court Justices, visit www.courts.ca.gov or call the toll-free Voter Hotline at (800) 345-VOTE (8683).
Under the California Constitution, justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal are subject to confirmation by the voters. The public votes “yes” or “no” on whether to retain each justice.
These judicial offices are nonpartisan.
Before a person can become an appellate justice, the Governor must submit the candidate’s name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, which is comprised of public members and lawyers. The commission conducts a thorough review of the candidate’s background and qualifications, with community input, and then forwards its evaluation of the candidate to the Governor.
The Governor then reviews the commission’s evaluation and officially nominates the candidate, whose qualifications are subject to public comment before examination and review by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That commission consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, and a senior Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal. The Commission on Judicial Appointments must then confirm or reject the nomination. Only if confirmed does the nominee become a justice.
Following confirmation, the justice is sworn into office and is subject to voter approval at the next gubernatorial election, and thereafter at the conclusion of each term. The term prescribed by the California Constitution for justices of the Supreme Court and courts of appeal is 12 years. Justices are confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments only until the next gubernatorial election, at which time they run for retention of the remainder of the term, if any, of their predecessor, which will be either four or eight years. (Elections Code section 9083.)
Carol A. Corrigan, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California
Bar Admission: 1975
Education: J.D. University of California, Hastings College of Law 1975; B.A., Holy Names College 1970.
Professional Legal Background: Alameda County Deputy District Attorney (1975–1985), Senior Deputy (1985–1987); Adjunct Professor of Law: University of Notre Dame (2016–Present); U.C. Berkeley School of Law (1984–1987 & 1989–1994); U.C. Hastings College of Law (1981–1987 & 1989–1991); University of San Francisco School of Law (1987–1988); University of Puget Sound School of Law (1981).
Judicial Background: Associate Justice, California Supreme Court, 2006–Present; Associate Justice California Court of Appeal, 1994–2006; Judge, Alameda County Superior Court, 1991–1994; Judge, Oakland-Emeryville-Piedmont Municipal Court, 1987–1991; Faculty, California Judge’s College, 1989–Present.
Leondra R. Kruger, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California
Bar Admission: 2002
Education: Yale Law School, J.D., 2001; Harvard University, A.B., 1997.
Professional Legal Background: Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice, 2013–2014; Assistant to the Solicitor General and Acting Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, 2007–2013; Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Law School, 2007; Associate, Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP, 2004–2006; Law Clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, 2003–2004; Law Clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge David S. Tatel, 2002–2003; Associate, Jenner and Block LLP, 2001–2002.
Judicial Background: Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California, 2015–present (appointed by Governor Jerry Brown and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments).