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Brown names new justice to state Supreme Court

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, 41, a Stanford Law School professor who was born in Matamoros, Mexico, and walked across the border each day to go to school in Texas, has been appointed to the California Supreme Court by Gov. Brown, the governor’s office announced today.

Cuéllar, who graduated from Calexico High School and has degrees from Harvard University, the Yale Law School and Stanford University, served as a special assistant to President Obama in 2009-10 as a special assistant at the White House Domestic Policy Council, according to biographical material provided by the governor’s office.

As a child, Cuéllar walked across the border each day from Matamoros to attend school in neighboring Brownsville, Texas. At age 14, he moved with his family to the Imperial Valley of California.

His appointment as associate justice on the seven-member court requires voter approval.

“Tino Cuéllar is a renowned scholar who has served two presidents and made significant contributions to both political science and the law,” Brown said in a prepared statement announcing the appointment. “His vast knowledge and even temperament will – without question – add further luster to our highest court.”

Cuéllar has been a Stanford Law School professor since 2001. He has taught administrative law, criminal law and international law, among other subjects. Cuéllar has been director of Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies since 2013 and Professor of Political Science, by courtesy, at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences since 2010. He served as co-director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation from 2011 to 2013.

As a child, Cuéllar walked across the border each day from Matamoros to attend school in neighboring Brownsville, Texas. At age 14, he moved with his family to the Imperial Valley of California.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.

“I am enormously honored by Governor Brown’s nomination, and if confirmed, I look forward to serving the people of California on our state’s highest court,” said Cuéllar in a statement accompanying the governor’s announcement.

Cuéllar is married to U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California. They have two children.

He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Marvin R. Baxter on Jan. 4. The compensation for this position is $225,342. Cuéllar is a Democrat.

Cuéllar’s appointment requires confirmation of the three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments, which consists of state Supreme Court Chief Justic Tani Cantil-Sakauye, state Atttorney General Kamala Harris and Joan Dempsey Klein, the senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal.

If confirmed, Cuéllar’s name will go before California voters on Nov. 4 for their approval.

 

 


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