Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Leondra Kruger Appointed to CA Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Leondra Kruger was appointed Monday to the California Supreme Court, the court's youngest justice in nearly a century.

Kruger, 38, was deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel when Gov. Jerry Brown nominated her to the state supreme court in November. She will replace Joyce Kennard, who retired this year.

In a hearing before the three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments in the state Supreme Court Monday morning, colleagues praised Kruger as a brilliant, fair and highly analytical attorney.

"She is every bit as good as her stellar qualifications," said Thomas Lue, former acting general counsel at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Kruger has an impressive resume: She attended Harvard University before earning a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal. She was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and has argued 12 cases on behalf of the federal government in front of that court.

Upon her nomination, the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees rated her "exceptionally well-qualified," the highest ranking a judicial candidate can receive.

During the hearing, California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye asked Kruger to address the judicial appointment commission about her lack of judicial experience and her lack of California legal experience.

Kruger said her career path has exposed her to a wide range of law, and that she is always learning.

After a brief round of questioning, the members of the judicial appointment commission - Cantil-Sakauye; Attorney General Kamala Harris; and Joan Dempsey Klein, presiding justice of the second appellate district division three - voted unanimously to appoint the California native.

Kruger is the court's first African American justice since 2005 and the court's youngest justice in nearly a century, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.


Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.