SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Commission on Judicial Appointments on Wednesday approved the governor’s nomination of Tani Cantil-Sakauye as California’s first minority chief justice. The daughter of Filipino farmworkers will begin her 12-year term on Jan. 3, if voters approve her in November.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Cantil-Sakauye in July and commission members Attorney General Jerry Brown, former Chief Justice Ronald George and appeals court Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of Los Angeles all cast consenting votes Wednesday.
Cantil-Sakauye, 50, has been a judge since 1990. A Sacramento native, she served on the Sacramento County Municipal and Superior Counts from 1990 until 2005, when Schwarzenegger appointed her to the Third District Court of Appeal. Before becoming a judge, she was a county prosecutor for 3 years, and served 2 years on the staff of Gov. George Deukmejian.
Cantil-Sakauye would become the state’s second female chief justices, after Rose Bird. Three of the seven sitting justices are women.
She earned her B.A. and law degrees from the University of California, Davis.