Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 12 / 22 March 2018

New CA Supreme Court justice likely to be seated in time for Prop 8 hearing

Barring some unexpected development, recently appointed California Supreme Court nominee Goodwin Liu will likely be seated in time to hear oral arguments in the on-going legal battle over the Golden State’s constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.

The question, though, is if Liu (seen at left) will recuse himself from the hearing. As the Bay Area Reported noted this week, Liu was one of many legal scholars who went public with their criticisms of the political tactics used in 2008 to pass the ban, known as Proposition 8. The anti-gay groups behind the ballot measure are now seeking permission from the state’s highest court to defend it before the federal courts.

They already have begun to criticize Brown’s decision to appoint Liu to the court. An email blast sent out today (Friday, July 29) by California Family Council Research Analyst Rebecca Burgoyne noted Liu’s support for LGBT rights.

“Most troubling is Liu’s support of same-sex marriage and opposition to Proposition 8, which will be before the Court this fall,” wrote Burgoyne.

Late Thursday, July 28 the state court scheduled to hear oral arguments in the Prop 8 case at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 6 in San Francisco.

The hearing will take place less than a week after the commission tasked with approving Liu’s appointment will hear the matter. It has scheduled the confirmation hearing for Wednesday, August 31.

The state Constitution specifies that a gubernatorial appointment to the Supreme Court is “effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.”  Thus, should he be confirmed that day, Liu will join the court in time to hear the September oral arguments.

During the heated fight over Liu’s nomination for a seat on a federal appellate court, the UC Berkeley law professor won praise from a broad, diverse field of groups. LGBT groups have already endorsed him for the state judicial post.

But he is replacing retired Associate Justice Carlos Moreno, who had been the court’s sole Latino jurist. And Latino groups have begun voicing concerns about the lack of their community’s representation on the state Supreme Court.

It remains to be seen if their complaints will derail Liu’s appointment.

The Commission on Judicial Appointments has asked that all public comment on the nomination be received by 5 p.m.  Wednesday, August 24. Those wishing to address the commission during the hearing must send in their requests by the same deadline.

Comments and speaker requests should be mailed to the following address:

Commission on Judicial Appointments
c/o Chief Justice of California
Supreme Court of California
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, California 94102
Attention: Ms. AhMoi Kim, Secretary to the Commission

— Matthew S. Bajko, July 29, 2011 @ 11:05 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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