Posted: February 15th, 2023
What are the three levels of judiciary? What role does the Governor play in appointing members of the bench in Californian legal politics?
The three levels of judiciary in the United States are the federal judiciary, state-level judiciary, and local-level judiciary.
At the state level, the Governor does have a role in appointing members of the bench in California. Specifically, the Governor has the power to appoint judges to fill vacancies that occur in the California Superior Courts, which are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in California. These appointments are typically made by the Governor after receiving recommendations from a local judicial nominating commission.
However, it’s important to note that not all judges in California are appointed by the Governor. Some judges are elected by the voters of the county or district they serve. Additionally, the Governor also has the power to make appointments to the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court, which are the intermediate appellate courts and the highest court in the state, respectively. These appointments are subject to confirmation by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of the Chief Justice of California, the Attorney General, and the Senior Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal.
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