The Cal. Supreme Court’s Outgoing and Incoming Chief Justices, with David Ettinger

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The California Supreme Court is getting a new chief justice. What does it mean? The author of prominent legal blog At the Lectern, David Ettinger, joins co-hosts Tim Kowal and Jeff Lewis to look back on Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s 11-year tenure, her legacy, her replacement, Justice Patricia Guerrero—and why is the governor “appointing” a new Supreme Court justice when the state constitution says he needs to “nominate”?

David’s critical coverage of Gov. Newsom’s decision to “appoint” rather than “nominate” drew a phone call from the governor’s office, which he discusses.

Other topics discussed include:

  • “Taking one for the team”: how the CJ described her decision to write some of the Court’s more controversial opinions.
  • “We don’t need to speak so broadly”: how the CJ described her approach to writing judicial opinions.
  • The Court’s very long “pandemic docket” might have played a role in CJ Cantil-Sakauye’s retirement.
  • When the Supreme Court granted review of the case involving Los Angeles DA Gascon’s challenge to Three Strikes, David suggests the Court might be more interested in the scope and exercise of prosecutorial discretion, rather than taking a blow at Three Strikes directly.
  • When Gov. Jerry Brown got frustrated with the Supreme Court. Today, the Court grants all of Gov. Newsom’s clemency requests, but it denied many of Gov. Brown’s. Why? Turns out, governors get just as frustrated at summary denials as the rest of us do: “Read the ones who were approved and read the ones who were disapproved,” Gov. Brown challenged, “and you tell me what the rule is.”

David Ettinger’s biography, LinkedIn profile, and At The Lectern blog.

Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed.

Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page.

Sign up for Tim Kowal’s Weekly Legal Update, or view his blog of recent cases.

Use this link to get a 25% lifetime discount on Casetext.

Other items discussed in the episode:

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