Skip to main content

California has had Latinos on the state Supreme Court before, but never a Latino immigrant. However, the state may have one as of January of 2015 if the Governor has his way. It seems that Governor Brown is sending a message to the rest of the country about immigrants to the USA. If confirmed (which is likely), he will succeed Justice Marvin Baxter, who many consider to be the most conservative justice of the Court.

From the sfgate:

As a boy, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar walked 7 miles each way from his home in Mexico to a school in Texas. On Tuesday, Cuéllar, a Harvard graduate and Stanford law professor, was nominated by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court.

If confirmed, he will be the court's first Latino justice since 2011 and its first Latino immigrant.

Cuéllar's appointment is "a statement to the rest of the nation as we go through this backlash against immigrants," said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.

The state Senate's leader, President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, called the nomination "an inspired choice ... a timely reminder that our Golden State was forged by disparate immigrant communities who pushed frontiers and who, together, recognized a common strength in diversity."

Cuéllar, 41, gained stellar credentials - degrees from Harvard, Yale and Stanford, service in two presidential administrations and a law professorship - from an unlikely and modest background.

Born in the northern Mexico town of Matamoros, the child, known as Tino, walked through the border crossing each day to attend a Catholic school in Brownsville, Texas, said his father, Alfredo Cuéllar, who had attended the same school.

"We were an average family, not rich, not very poor ... but we were very fortunate to have a passion for education," he said. "Tino picked up that culture of education and books and historical issues, legal issues."

When Tino was 14, his father got his immigration papers and took his family to Calexico (Imperial County), where he had a job teaching Spanish. The father later became a visiting professor at Harvard and recently retired as an associate professor of education at Fresno State University.

Brown nominated Cuéllar to succeed Marvin Baxter, the court's most conservative justice, who is retiring at the end of his current 12-year term in January. With another vacancy to fill after Justice Joyce Kennard's retirement in April, the Democratic governor has a chance to shift the ideological balance on a court that has been controlled by Republican appointees since 1987.

The nomination also continues Brown's record of diversifying the courts. He previously appointed the court's first female, African American and Latino justices, as well as the nation's first openly gay and lesbian judges.

The last Latino on the court, Carlos Moreno, retired in February 2011 and was succeeded by Brown's first appointee, Goodwin Liu - who, like Cuéllar, was a law professor with no previous judicial experience.

In a statement, Cuéllar said, "I am enormously honored by Gov. Brown's nomination, and if confirmed, I look forward to serving the people of California on our state's highest court."

His nomination will go before the Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Joan Dempsey Klein, senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal. The hearing has not been scheduled.

If confirmed before November, Cuéllar will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot for voter approval to a 12-year term that begins in January.

Originally posted to librarisingnsf on Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 01:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and LatinoKos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site