California Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking to remake the state’s influential Supreme Court with what the New York Times calls a series of “head-snapping” nominations to the bench. Of the three people Brown has nominated to the seven-member Supreme Court, not one had a day of judicial experience. Two are law professors and the third is an associate attorney general in the Justice Department. All three are under 45 and graduates of Yale law school, Brown’s alma mater.
Brown's most recent choice, Leondra R. Kruger, 38, was confirmed this week. She is the associate attorney general, lives in Washington and has never practiced law in California. “That was kind of a mindblower,” said David S. Ettinger, a lawyer who blogs about the California Supreme Court. Her nomination followed Brown's selection of Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, a law professor at Stanford who also spent much of his career in Washington, serving in the Obama and Clinton administrations. In 2011, Brown nominated Goodwin Liu, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.