Legal experts say Baxter’s decisions on the bench were consistent with his moderate conservative outlook. Former Republican Governor George Deukmejian appointed Baxter in 1991. UC Berkeley Law School Professor Jesse Choper says Governor Brown will take his time picking a replacement.
“The governor takes this very seriously,” says Choper. “They’re important appointments. The court decides some very big cases of nationwide impact.”
Supreme Court Justice Joyce Kennard announced her retirement in April. Brown’s still considering her replacement. In 2011, the Governor appointed Goodwin Liu to the high court. It was Brown’s only Supreme Court appointment since returning as Governor three years ago.