Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest California Supreme Court nominee isn’t likely to run into serious resistance at her confirmation hearing next week, but criticism of Leondra Kruger’s residency (out of state) and judicial experience (none) has brought Brown to her defense.
“There can be judges who sit on the court for a long time. You can compare their body of work and you can compare hers,” Brown told The Recorder, a legal news publication, in an interview Monday night. “And I think she stands very tall.”
Brown’s remarks came a day after former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown criticized Kruger’s selection in a column in the San Francisco Chronicle. Though a California native, Kruger’s experience has been in Washington, D.C.
If confirmed, she would be the first African American justice on the court since Justice Janice Rogers Brown left in 2005, but the former Assembly speaker asked, “Were there no qualified African Americans in California?”
The governor rejected the suggestion that he has shunned state judges with three Supreme Court picks from outside the judiciary, telling The Recorder that such an argument is “logically deficient.”
“The fact that I find someone outstanding doesn’t mean there aren’t other outstanding people,” he said. “I just didn’t happen to pick them.”
Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.