Don’t Just Say Yes: How to Vote in California’s Judicial Races

The following recommendations (save for the one on Corrigan) come from progressive activist Carter Lavin.  We deeply appreciate his taking the time to research these judges.  

Carol Corrigan, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: NO

Update: After consulting with other attorneys, we’ve found out that Corrigan is often a swing vote in the Court, sometimes siding with the liberals and sometimes with the conservatives.  California would be far better off is Newsom was able to appoint a more progressive justice.  We therefore recommend you vote against her.

Original write up: As a Supreme Court Justice, Corrigan  wrote two dissents to the Court’s finding that the California Constitution protected the right of gay people to marry.  However, Corrigan also seems to be the first lesbian to serve in the California Supreme Court.  She considers herself a moderate. We need to do more research on her record.

Leondra Kruger, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:  YES

Kruger worked for Obama, could go further but rules narrowly so as to not rock the boat

James Humes, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 1: YES

Ruled that a potential employer can be held to have violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act by deterring a pregnant woman from applying for a job through lying to her that there were no openings.

Sandra Marguiles, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 1   : NO

Ruled to allow the state to perform warrantless blood draws on motorists in a wider variety of circumstances.

James Richman, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 2: NO

Ruled against protecting public worker pensions

Marla Miller, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 2 : NO

Tried to protect the Governor’s office during the CPUC corruption issue.
Also ruled against tenant protections/Ellis Act reforms in SF

Peter John Siggins, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 3: YES

Siggins  was one of the justices who ruled that California’s prisons are overcrowded to the point of human rights violations

Alison Tucher, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 4: YES

When a lawyer did a ton of pro-bono work and got a person exonerated who was wrongfully convicted of murder.

Jon Steeter, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 4 : YES 

While in private practice sues the Federal Gov’t for holding immigrants without a chance of bail.

Barbara Jones, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 5: YES

Ruled in favor of the Raiders’ Cheerleaders in wage theft issue.

UPDATE: Here is another take on the judges’ races.

43 thoughts on “Don’t Just Say Yes: How to Vote in California’s Judicial Races”

    1. I wish we could! But we don’t know anyone there with the expertise to do it. If anyone reading this does, please let us know.

    1. The divisions aren’t geographical areas. They’re just administrative unis of the Court of Appeal. The First District Court of Appeal has five divisions, each with three justices; your appeal will get assigned to one of the five divisions when it’s filed, and the three justices in that division will hear it.

  1. What evidence is there that Corrigan is a lesbian? And if she is indeed a lesbian, her voting against same sex marriage is even more problematic. She doesn’t deserve my vote.

    1. There are just multiple references in the media form back in the 00s to her being a lesbian. I’m not sure if she was “out”, but she owned a home with the woman who appeared to be her partner.

        1. I’m not sure what evidence you want to see. But the fact is that many articles mentioned she was a lesbian back then, and if she wasn’t, the normal thing would be for her to say so.

          1. The point is not whether she is gay or not. If you believe she’s gay, that’s your opinion. My opinion is that I see no evidence to suggest that she’s gay. The only references to her (supposedly) being gay are your writing and the “many articles” you mentioned (supposedly) saying that she’s gay.

            In any case, my point is that her ruling on marriage equality is promblematic.

    2. I don’t care who Corrigan sleeps with our how she identifies if she’s willing to take away equal rights. The gay homophobe is a recurring stereotype for a reason. She’s getting an unequivocal “no” from me.

  2. Does anyone have information on the Third Appellate District? Specifically Louis Mauro and Cole Blease. Or even a lead on where/how to research their records? Thanks Margarita for getting this info out there!

      1. Don’t blindly vote against the conservative site. They, too, say YES to Barbara Jones as you do above. Please look more closely before voting.

  3. I am glad to see that the recommendation for Corrigan is now a ‘no.’

    Perhaps you’d like to inform this site about the recent change since it still has the old information:

    Leondra Kruger is far from being a progressive (or a liberal for that matter). Corrigan praises her, and interestingly, the conservative recommends a ‘no’ for Kruger.

  4. Would be helpful if you included links to articles that go into detail on the points you make. It’s incredible how little information is available on these judges, and trying to fact check what you have here is quite difficult. That said, what I could find online checked out with what you listed, so many thanks for the helpful breakdown.

  5. Any suggestions on Court of Appeal 6th Appellate District?? Mary J Greenwood, Allison Marston Danner, and Nathan D. Mihara??

  6. I’m really uncomfortable with the idea of not confirming judges because you disagree with one or two decisions they’ve made, especially since you’re not clarifying how narrow or broad these decisions were. I’m even more uncomfortable with the way you’re advocating other people vote this way while providing little research.

    The alternate link you provide even specifies that it is not accepted practice to vote “no” on a judge simply because you disagree with some decisions they’ve made.

    And most concerning of all is your advocating voting no on a justice just so presumed governor Gavin Newsom can confirm a more “progressive” judge. That absolutely politicizes the position of Supreme Court justice to an unacceptable degree.

    1. Thank you, California Voter. I completely agree — I believe that it is only appropriate to vote NO on judges if they have done something wrong / impeachable, rather than because I disagree with a decision.

    2. I agree with you, completely. The alternate link you mention brings up a viable point. Thank YOU for the point on Newsom! Very helpful!!!!!!! I decided to be responsible for my own choices after my own research. This info & article did not impress me. I’m left with more doubts. I’m not a robot judging on someone else’s vague & unsubstantiated opinions.

  7. I came here hoping for some insight, but all I got was one-sentence descriptions of a single ruling made by each justice, without *any* kind of context or even sources for (or links to) the information that led you to these conclusions. How can one take seriously these recommendations when they’re so uselessly vague?

    For example, Corrigan said of her dissent that, “In my view, Californians should allow our gay and lesbian neighbors to call their unions marriages,” but explained that she felt it was a legislative matter, not one for the courts to decide. Regardless of whether you agree with that or not (I don’t), it would have taken you 30 seconds to google for more information and provide those links to your readers., like a news article from the time ( or the ruling itself (

    You could just as easily have linked to additional information about all your recommendations — I mean, you had to get the info from somewhere, why not share?

    I’m not taking issue with your recommendations themselves, just with the fact that you make no attempt to quantify them. Do you just expect people to take your word for all of this? Especially when your most in-depth recommendation is a grand total of 51 words?

  8. I have a bunch of names on my ballot for associate justice and I can’t find information online as to whether they are favored by Democrats. I read this article and some of the names mentioned aren’t on my ballot as well. If anyone can give advice I’d appreciate it. My location is San Diego.

  9. I am confused about the Update statement about Corrigan:
    “California would be far better off is Newsom was able to appoint a more progressive justice. We therefore recommend you vote gain her.”

    Should it be: California would be far better off IF Newsom was able to appoint a more progressive justice. We therefore recommend you vote AgainST her. ??

      1. Actually, that’s not correct either; it should have been “California would be far better off if Newsom WERE able to appoint a more progressive justice.” And even that isn’t accurate, because he’s not yet in office. So technically, this makes more sense: “California will be far better off if Newsom is able to appoint a more progressive justice.”

  10. I do not support same sex marriage. That does not make me a bigot, homophobe or racist. I just disagree with you. I do not protest but vote my opinion. I do believe that everyone is entitled to protection under the law, I do believe that unions should be recognized and benefits should be extended to same sex partners. I just believe same sex marriage to be wrong.

    1. Elizabeth,
      You may not be a bigot, homophobe or racist but your attitude against same-sex marriage is hurtful and damaging to the lives of gay people. It makes us second-class citizens. You think it is wrong, and I am assuming you are heterosexual and therefore approach the issue from a privileged position. Whether or not same-sex marriage exists does not affect you at all. If it does not exist it affects millions of people who are not able to live full lives that they desire that includes all the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage that you enjoy.”Recognized unions are the stuff of second-class citizenship and are just people like you twisting yourselves into pretzels so you don’t have to feel icky about 2 guys having sex.

  11. Is this the same as the Barbara Jones who worked for Rudy Giuliani and is currently the decider on which material prosecuters can use in the Michael Cohen case? The same one that got Bill Cosby off the hook and overturned the suspension of Ray Rice who had been suspended indefinitely after physically assaulting his fiancee in an elevator?

    I think these are more reasons to vote no than anything else.

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