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8.31.2010

panel confirms tani cantil-sakauye for california chief justice

Last week in San Francisco, Tani Cantil-Sakauye moved one step closer to becoming chief justice of the California Supreme Court. After nearly two hours of testimony, the three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously approved her nomination: Panel OKs nominee for chief justice.
A total of 12 witnesses, including a representative of a bar evaluations committee, testified in her favor, and a community activist and an attorney spoke out against her.

Members of the California Supreme Court sat in one front row during the hearing, and Cantil-Sakauye sat in another with her husband, a Sacramento police lieutenant, their two daughters, her mother and her in-laws.

Commissioner Joan Dempsey Klein, an appeals court justice from Los Angeles, noted after the testimony that women have had to struggle for a place in the legal world.

"Do you recognize the huge responsibility to yourself and your gender?" Klein asked Cantil-Sakauye.

Cantil-Sakauye replied that she was mindful of the pioneering work of women lawyers and judges.

"None of us got here alone," she said.
If approved by voters on the November ballot, Cantil-Sakauye would be the court's first Filipina and only the second female chief justice. She would also be part of the first-ever female majority of the California Supreme Court, where three of the seven current justices are women. More here: California judicial panel backs Cantil-Sakauye for chief justice.