Another influential court post could be open soon


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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was able to name Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye as California’s next chief justice so quickly -– it has been only a week since Chief Justice Ronald George announced his retirement –- because the administration was already vetting her for a promotion.

Arthur Scotland, presiding justice of the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal, said he told the Schwarzenegger administration about three weeks ago that, though he had not yet filed any retirement paperwork, he was considering stepping down this year.


And Scotland said he, along with “every justice on this court,” had endorsed Cantil-Sakauye “to be the presiding justice when I retire.”

After George’s announcement, Scotland said, he advocated for her not only as “a superb presiding justice but a magnificent chief justice.”

With her appointment Wednesday, Scotland said, “I’m happy for her, and I’m even more happy for the whole legal system.”

“If I could do back flips, I would be doing them,” the justice said.

Scotland’s departure would leave Schwarzenegger with another plum judicial post to fill in his final months in office.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento