Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye's First Day on the Job

Uploaded by CaliforniaCourts on 10.01.2011

The first day on the job for the new Chief Justice of California started bright and very
early in San Francisco, officially taking the oath of office before a small group of
friends and family. The Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye is only the second woman to hold the office,
and the first Asian-American.
Hon. Joyce L. Kennard, Associate Justice, California Supreme Court “Today’s swearing
in of California’s chief justice is indeed a special occasion.”
The ceremony was brief – but meaningful. And then there was no time to waste.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California “I hate to oath and run but the
I-80 corridor awaits. Thank you all.”
First stop down the road, Sacramento’s beautifully restored Memorial Auditorium, where the line
snaked around the block to witness Governor Jerry Brown’s inauguration.
Announcer: “Please welcome the newly sworn in 28th chief justice of the California Supreme
Court the most honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye.”
After the Chief Justice administered the oath, the governor noted the significance of power
passing from one to another.
Governor Jerry Brown “It’s a sacred and special ritual that affirms that the people
are in charge and that elected officials are given only a limited time in which to perform
their appointed tasks.”
Next stop for the new Chief, the 3rd District Court of Appeal, where Associate Justice Andrea
Hoch was officially installed. Justice Hoch said she was immediately impressed by Justice
Cantil-Sakauye when they met.
Hon. Andrea Hoch, Associate Justice, 3rd District Court of Appeal “We had an instant connection
and I thought ‘What better person to swear me in than the new Chief Justice?’”
Newly elected Attorney General Kamala Harris also invited Justice Cantil-Sakauye to administer
the oath – at the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts. Hundreds of well-wishers
crowded into the multi-level courtyard. Among other initiatives, Harris promised tough AND
smart efforts to reduce prison recidivism and truancy – problems that the courts already
consider to be priorities.
Attorney General Kamala Harris “It is time to recognize the need for some drastic repair.”
Then it was on to the tightly packed assembly for the new Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones.
It, too, is an important statewide office, regulating a $120 billion dollar industry
that significantly affects the lives of Californians.
Reflecting on her first day in office, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said each event was
truly exhilarating; and symbolic.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California “Part of what today signifies
to me, is the third hat that the Chief wears; that is, the face of the chief of the state
of California. This is a role that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court administers in
terms of the oath vis-a-vis all the constitutional officers today, to me it’s a symbol of the
chief’s role statewide.”
And with the daunting challenges ahead – she says it is also a time of great opportunity.
Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California “I like to think that people
are beginning to recognize in the legislative and executive branch and other constitutional
officers that how we’ve done business thus far has worked but now its usefulness is beginning
to come into question and we’re looking for a new way of stepping out in California
to maintain our leadership. And so I’m feeling optimistic.”
The Chief’s term of office is 12 years. I’m Leanne Kozak reporting for California
Courts News.