Capitol Alert

Steinberg discusses ambitions after leaving the Legislature

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said Tuesday that he has mentioned his interest in being appointed to the California Supreme Court to Gov. Jerry Brown, but downplayed the likelihood that he would land such a position immediately after leaving the Legislature later this year.

“He’s got a lot of good choices,” Steinberg said of the governor during a meeting with the Sacramento Bee’s editorial board Tuesday.

Brown recently named Stanford law professor Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar to one of two vacancies on the state’s top court. Ventura County Star Columnist Timm Herdt had made the case earlier this month that Brown should name Steinberg to the bench.

Acting as governor Tuesday while Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are out of state, Steinberg joked that he would not appoint himself as a judge.

The Sacramento Democrat described a position on the Supreme Court as “one of many things I’ve thought about,” and left open the possibility that he may run for mayor of Sacramento in 2016 or statewide office in 2018. He said he would only run for mayor if current Mayor Kevin Johnson does not seek re-election.

In the short term, Steinberg said that after leaving the Senate at the end of the year, he plans to practice law and pursue foundation work on the public policy issues he cares most about.

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