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Supreme Court of California

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**Composition and Appointment Process:**
– Original California Constitution had 3 justices, expanded to 5 in 1862, and now has 7 justices.
– Justices are appointed by the Governor of California and must be attorneys or judges in California.
– The appointment process involves nominations by the Governor, evaluation by the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, and confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.
– Justices may need retention elections where voters decide whether to retain them.
– Justices serve 12-year terms and can be removed by the electorate.

**Court Structure and Diversity:**
– The Court headquarters is in San Francisco and transitioned to hearing all appeals in bank.
– Justices from the Court of Appeals join for cases, and an Acting Supreme Court is formed when all justices recuse.
– The current justices include 6 appointed by Democrats and 1 by Republicans, with diverse backgrounds.
– The most recent addition is Justice Kelli Evans, who will be the first Latina Chief Justice in 2023.

**Internal Procedure and Staff Operations:**
– The Court is open year-round and hears oral arguments at least 1 week per month, 10 months a year.
– Justices are assigned cases, draft opinions, and vote after oral arguments.
– Justices have 5 assigned chambers attorneys, and there are approximately 80 lawyers employed in the Supreme Court.
– Permanent staff attorneys ensure continuity in court operations and improve efficiency, particularly in complex cases.
– Justices must meet statutory deadlines for case disposition.

**Publication of Opinions and Legal Precedents:**
– The Court issues unanimous opinions in 77% of cases, with opinions published online on Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.
– Opinions are published in 3 hardcover reporters, with the California Reports in its fifth series.
– The Court is known for setting precedents in criminal justice, civil liberties, racial integration, and consumer protection.
– Notable cases like People v. Hall and Perez v. Sharp have had significant impacts on legal precedents in California.

**State Bar of California and Judicial Officials:**
– The State Bar of California is the largest mandatory bar in the U.S., with around 210,000 members.
– The State Bar supervises California’s legal profession, and attorney admissions are done through State Bar recommendations ratified by the Supreme Court.
– Judicial officials like Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and past officials like Rose Elizabeth Bird have played significant roles in the California Supreme Court.
– The State Bar has faced internal corruption issues, and women have led as presidents, celebrating its 80th anniversary in September 2007.

The Supreme Court of California is the highest and final court of appeals in the courts of the U.S. state of California. It is headquartered in San Francisco at the Earl Warren Building, but it regularly holds sessions in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts. Since 1850, the court has issued many influential decisions in a variety of areas including torts, property, civil and constitutional rights, and criminal law.

Supreme Court of California
Seal of the Supreme Court of California
LocationSan Francisco (Headquarters)
Los Angeles
Composition methodGubernatorial nomination and confirmation by Chief Justice, Attorney General and a senior presiding judge of the Court of Appeal
Authorized byCalifornia Constitution
Appeals toSupreme Court of the United States (for matters involving U.S. federal law or the U.S. Constitution only)
Judge term length12 years; renewable
Number of positions7
Chief Justice
CurrentlyPatricia Guerrero
SinceJanuary 2, 2023
Lead position endsJanuary 8, 2035
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