Joyce Kennard, California Supreme Court Justice, to retire

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 - 12:00 am

California Supreme Court Associate Justice Joyce Kennard has announced her intention to leave the state’s highest court later this year.

Kennard, 72, plans to resign effective April 5, giving Gov. Jerry Brown his second opportunity to fill a California Supreme Court vacancy after having appointed Justice Goodwin Liu in 2011.

Brown’s selection to replace Kennard will be subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments – a body composed of state Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Joan Dempsey Klein, presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal, 2nd District, Division 3 – and would then go before voters during the following election. The successor would be up for a potential re-election in 2018, at the end of Kennard’s current term.

The April 5 resignation date will mark the 25th anniversary of Gov. George Deukmejian’s original appointiment of Kennard, back in 1989. She subsequently won election in 1990, 1994 and 2006.

“The state and its people have been very well served by Justice Kennard and her independence and intellectual fortitude have left a lasting mark on the court,” Brown said in a statement.

– Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau

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