Brown Taps Stanford Professor for Court Post

     (CN) – Gov. Jerry Brown has named Stanford University Law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar as his choice to replace retiring Associate Justice Marvin Baxter on the California Supreme Court.
     The 41-year-old Democrat was born in Matamoros, Mexico, and walked across the border every day to attend school in Brownsville, Texas before his family moved to Imperial Valley when he was 14. Cuellar earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard, a law degree from Yale Law School and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University. He has two children with his wife, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.
     In a statement Tuesday, Brown said Cuellar’s “vast knowledge and even temperament will – without question – add further luster to our highest court.”
     In addition to teaching law at Stanford since 2001, Cuellar is a political science professor and has been director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies since 2013.
     Cuellar was co-chair of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy working group from 2008-2009, and co-chaired a congressional commission on America’s public school achievement gap from 2011 to 2013. He is currently on the board of the Constitution Project, a bipartisan think-tank that advises lawmakers on constitutional questions.
     Before he can be placed on the November ballot for voter approval, Cuellar must be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein.
     In a statement, Cuellar said, “I am enormously honored by Governor Brown’s nomination, and if confirmed, I look forward to serving the people of California on our state’s highest court.”

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