Earlier this month, Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) found himself in hot water with women legislators and lawyers’ groups for comments he made about California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. From the Sacramento Bee, May 6:

Two prominent women lawyers’ groups are the latest to lambaste Assemblyman Charles Calderon for what they said were inappropriate comments about California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye at a committee hearing on Tuesday.

The Whittier Democrat, at the Assembly Judiciary Committee to push his controversial bill to decentralize control of California courts, said the issue wasn’t about Cantil-Sakauye.

But he also said: “It isn’t ‘Is she nice?’ ‘Cause she is. ‘Is she smart?’ ‘Cause she is. ‘Is she attractive?’ ‘Cause she is. It isn’t about that.”

Yesterday, in a news interview with NBC Los Angeles, the Chief Justice spoke about that comment, sounding pretty peeved.

“I was troubled by that… But when it comes from majority leader in the context of a very serous hearing where courts are lining up, where all the attorneys who are there are on the side of judicial council opposing that bill and a critical question is asked, ‘why are you taking this power away from the new chief justice four months into her administration,’ that’s when that answer is unresponsive and is offensive, and is not at all responsive to the question. So that’s the problem.”

Her answer starts at around :50 of the video.


Video: California Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye on Legislator’s Comment About Her Looks 2 June,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of EconomyBeat.org, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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