(KTXL) — The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, has announced that she will not run for re-election this year and will retire from the bench at the end of her term in January 2023, this after serving at every level of the California state courts for the past three decades.
Justice Cantil-Sakauye has served as the 28th Chief Justice of California and was the first person of color and second woman to serve in that position. She has served as Chief Justice for 12 years.
“I have informed Governor Gavin Newsom that I will not seek re-election as Chief Justice of California and will conclude my judicial service when my current term of office ends. And of course, I will support the smooth transition of Judicial Branch leadership,” Cantil-Sakauye said in the release.
In her 32 years of service in the state’s courts, she has often cited her upbringing as an influence in her judicial career. She attended public schools and universities on her way to starting as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento Municipal Court before working for a governor and being appointed as a judge in Sacramento County Superior Court.
From there, she ascended to the Third Appellate District Court and, in 2011, became Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.
“My first interaction with our justice system was when my family faced eviction from our home and my mother felt helpless,” she said in a statement. “As the daughter of farmworkers, I experienced in my community what it was like to stand up for your rights and demand protections…as Chief Justice I continue to keep in mind the faces behind the cases and remain focused on the goal of providing all Californians with equal, fair, and accessible justice.”
Cantil-Sakauye’s career as chief justice allowed her to serve through three governors and several leaders of the California Legislature.
“I truly appreciate the opportunities previous governors, judicial branch leadership, and the People of California have given me to support, defend, and enhance the rule of law.
I have said before that I hold my office in trust until it is time for the next leaders to protect and expand access to justice—that time is now.”
Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s current term ends on January 1, 2023.