Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Confirmation panel considers California Supreme Court nominee

Leondra Kruger, 38, was named to the California Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Nov. 24, 2014.
Leondra Kruger, 38, was named to the California Supreme Court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Nov. 24, 2014. Courtesy of the Governor’s Office

To confirm or not to confirm – that is the question. Leondra Kruger, the most controversial of Gov. Jerry Brown’s three picks for the California Supreme Court nominee during this third term, appears before the Commission on Judicial Appointments today for an answer.

Though she is not expected to face serious resistance from the panel – comprised of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and appellate Justice Joan Dempsey Klein – Kruger’s selection has generated criticism over her lack of judicial experience and her out-of-state residency. No less than former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown weighed in with a column in the San Francisco Chronicle asking, “Were there no qualified African Americans in California?”

Gov. Brown criticized the criticism as “logically deficient” in a recent interview with The Recorder, a legal news publication. Law professors have been extremely complimentary of Kruger, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration, calling her a “superstar.”

Kruger would be the first African American justice on the court since Justice Janice Rogers Brown left in 2005. Her confirmation hearing takes place at 11 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom of the Earl Warren Building in San Francisco.

LET IT GO: The Board of Parole Hearings gets an update on implementation of SB 260 during a meeting at 2 p.m. at its suite on K Street. The 2013 law requires the board to consider the release of state prisoners who committed their crimes as minors once they have served at least 15 years of their sentences, accounting for the “diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults” and “any subsequent growth and increased maturity.”

MERRY MUSIC: Trio Bella, a piano, violin and cello ensemble, kicks off the second-to-last day of the Capitol holiday concert series, 11 a.m. in the rotunda. The Davis Chorale and Davis Children’s Chorale follow at noon.

READ MORE: Gov. Jerry Brown names Obama administration lawyer to California Supreme Court

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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