1998 California General Election
Judicial Information
 
The Secretary of State has produced a judicial information handbook that contains more information about the Supreme Court Justices and the Appellate Court Justices who will be on the ballot. This handbook is available from our main web site at www.ss.ca.gov or by calling our toll-free voter line at (800) 345-VOTE.

 

Justices of the Supreme Court

THE ELECTORAL PROCEDURE

Under the California Constitution, Justices of the Supreme Court and the courts of appeal are subject to confirmation by the voters. The public votes "yes" or "no" on whether to retain each justice.

These judicial offices are nonpartisan.

Before a person can become an appellate justice, the Governor must submit the candidate's name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, which is comprised of public members and lawyers. The commission conducts a thorough review of the candidate's background and qualifications, with community input, and then forwards its evaluation of the candidate to the Governor.

The Governor then reviews the commission's evaluation and officially nominates the candidate, whose qualifications are subject to public comment before examination and review by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That commission consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General of California, and a senior Presiding Justice of the Courts of Appeal. The Commission on Judicial Appointments must then confirm or reject the nomination.

Only if confirmed does the nominee become a justice.

Following confirmation, the justice is sworn into office and is subject to voter approval at the next gubernatorial election, and thereafter at the conclusion of each term. The term prescribed by the California Constitution for justices of the Supreme Court and courts of appeal is 12 years. Justices are confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments only until the next gubernatorial election, at which time they run for retention of the remainder of the term, if any, of their predecessor, which will be either four or eight years. (Elections Code Section 9083.)

 
Justices of the Supreme Court
 
Ronald M. George, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court

BAR ADMISSION:
Admitted to the California Bar in 1965.

EDUCATION:
J.D., Stanford Law School, 1964; B.A., Princeton University, 1961.

PROFESSIONAL LEGAL BACKGROUND:
Criminal Prosecutor: Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, 1965-72. (Administrative Assistant in charge of Los Angeles office, 1971).

JUDICIAL BACKGROUND:
Chief Justice, Supreme Court of California, appointed March 28, 1996, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, May 1, 1996; Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California, appointed July 29, 1991, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, September 3, 1991, elected 1994; Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, appointed July 23, 1987, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, August 27, 1987, elected 1990; Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles County, appointed December 23, 1977, elected 1978 and 1984; Supervising Judge: Criminal Division 1983-84; Civil Assignments, 1985-87; Member, court's Executive Committee, 1983-84; Judge, Los Angeles Municipal Court, appointed April 20, 1972, elected 1976; Supervising Judge: Criminal Division, 1977, and West Los Angeles Branch Court, 1974-75.

 
 
Janice Rogers Brown, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

BAR ADMISSION:
Admitted to California Bar in 1977.

EDUCATION:
J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, 1977; B.A. California State University, Sacramento, 1974.

PROFESSIONAL LEGAL BACKGROUND:
Legal Affairs Secretary for Governor Wilson, Sacramento, 1991-94. Private Law Practice, Sacramento, 1989-91 (Senior Associate). Deputy Secretary and General Counsel, California Business, Transportation & Housing Agency, Sacramento, 1987-89. Deputy Attorney General, California State Department of Justice, Sacramento, 1979-87. Deputy Counsel, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Sacramento, 1977-79.

JUDICIAL BACKGROUND:
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California, appointed May 2, 1996. Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, appointed October 21, 1994, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, November 4, 1994.

 
 
Ming William Chin, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

BAR ADMISSION:
Admitted to California Bar in 1970.

EDUCATION:
1964-Completed Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Francisco, Member of the National Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu; 1967--Completed Juris Doctorate degree, University of San Francisco School of Law.

PROFESSIONAL LEGAL BACKGROUND:
1970-1972, Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County (felony and misdemeanor trials); 1973-1988, Private Law Practice, Aiken, Kramer & Cummings; Partner 1976.

JUDICIAL BACKGROUND:
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California, appointed March 1, 1996, confirmed and sworn in March 1, 1996; Presiding Justice, First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, appointed August 17, 1994, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, August 19, 1994, elected 1994; Associate Justice, First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, appointed August 7, 1990, confirmed by Commission on Judicial Appointments, August 20, 1990, elected November 1990; Alameda County Superior Court, appointed January 6, 1988, elected November 1990.

 
 
Stanley Mosk, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court

BAR ADMISSION:
Admitted to California Bar in 1935.

EDUCATION:
Ph.B. University of Chicago; law schools: University of Chicago and J.D. Southwestern University (Los Angeles); The Hague Academy of International Law.

PROFESSIONAL LEGAL BACKGROUND:
Law practice in Los Angeles; Legal Assistant to Governor of California 1939-1943; Attorney General of California and head of State Department of Justice, 1959-1964; represented California before U.S. Supreme Court.

JUDICIAL BACKGROUND:
Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles, 1943-1958; pro tem Justice Court of Appeal, 1954; Justice, California Supreme Court, 1964-present.