When California voters decide whether to retain four state Supreme Court justices in November, many of them might be learning the justices’ names for the first time.
It wasn’t always this way – in fact, once upon a time, the California Supreme Court was a political lightning rod.
In the past three decades, the court has gone from being a lightning rod of controversy to a steady, collegial body shaping California law.
In California, appellate and Supreme Court justices are selected through a gubernatorial appointment, confirmation and voter approval process.
Superior Court or local judges can either be appointed or directly elected to the bench by voters.
Three appointed associate justices — Patricia Guerrero, Joshua Groban and Martin Jenkins — are on the ballot for the first time.
Associate Justice Goodwin Liu is on the ballot because his 12-year elected term is up.
Which party is Goodwin Liu representing?
According to Ballotpedia, Goodwin Liu is a strong Democrat.
In 2020, Ballotpedia published Ballotpedia Courts: State Partisanship, a study examining the partisan affiliation of all state supreme court justices in the country.
As part of this study by Ballotpedia, they assigned each justice a Confidence Score describing their confidence in the degree of partisanship exhibited by the justices’ past partisan behavior, before they joined the court.
Liu received a confidence score of Strong Democrat
Also Lui was appointed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California by California Governor Jerry Brown.
Jerry Brown is also a member of the Democratic Party.
He was elected Secretary of State of California in 1970; Brown later served as Mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007 and Attorney General of California from 2007 to 2011.
Who is Goodwin Liu
Associate Justice Goodwin Liu was nominated to the high court in 2011 by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, and has won one retention election. Now, he’s up for another term.
Liu, a former law professor and associate law school dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law, specializes in constitutional, education law and policy and diversity in the legal profession.
Liu once clerked for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
A son of Taiwanese immigrants, Liu grew up in Sacramento, where he attended Rio Americano High School. Liu is a graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a degree in biology.
He attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and he received his law degree from Yale Law School.
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