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Jul 11th
Home Columns JGL Eye Filipino-American Voters in California Should Get Out and Vote for Justice Cantil-Sakauye
Filipino-American Voters in California Should Get Out and Vote for Justice Cantil-Sakauye PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Friday, 03 September 2010 15:15





C HICAGO (jGLi) – It is not always every election, especially in California, that voters will have a rooting interest, especially among Filipino Americans or Asian Americans, for that matter.

During the gubernatorial elections on Nov. 2nd, Filipino Americans or Asian Americans should go out and convert that rooting interest into a “yes” vote for the retention of Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state of California. Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s nomination by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was confirmed last Aug. 25 by the Commission on Judicial Appointment.

Philip R. Carrizosa of the Office of Communications of the Judicial Council of California of the Administrative Office of the Courts in San Francisco, California told this columnist that Justice Cantil-Sakauye “must get 50 percent plus one of the votes cast on her retention. It does not matter how many people vote on her retention, whether it's a million or 100,000 or 100. If she gets 50 percent plus one, she wins retention for a 12-year term.”

Mr. Carrizosa also gave me a mind-numbing information that a winning California Chief Justice is not always assured of keeping the post if the Chief Justice goes for re-election after 12 years in office.

He said in November 1986, Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird was rejected by voters when she sought a 12-year term. She had been confirmed by the voters in 1978, after she was appointed in 1977. But voters turned against her in 1986, primarily because she was considered to be too liberal and had voted to overturn every death penalty sentence that came to the Supreme Court.

Aware of this record that the first woman California Chief Justice – the first California Chief Justice – was rejected when she ran for re-election, the incoming California Chief Justice in Associate Justice Cantil-Sakauye, I am sure, would be soundly guided by the precedent.




I am sure Justice Cantil-Sakauye will always have in mind the reason Governor Schwarzenegger nominated her – that the role of Justice is to administer the law, not to create a law, and will be fair and prudent.

When she goes for her retention, Justice Cantil-Sakauye is not required to form a political action committee, unlike the governor or attorney general. Chief Justice Ronald George did not form a PAC when he ran for retention. If Justice Cantil-Sakauye gets contribution that is higher than the “maximum limit, that contribution is returned with a note explaining the limits.” Any U.S. citizen or immigrant can contribute to her campaign.

I have not yet met Justice Cantil-Sakauye in person. But because she finds the time to respond to my email I believe she is transparent and she opens up on sensitive questions that can educate the voters about her.

A daughter of Maria Edilion Gorre Cantil, who was born in Walnut Grove California, and Clarence Freitas Cantil, who was born in Hawaii in 1924, Justice Cantil-Sakauye has three siblings – a half brother, who does not work, an older sister, who is a lawyer, and an older brother, who works for the federal government.

She said after working in the fields as a child and teen, her second-generation mother worked for the state of California and retired as an executive secretary at the Department of Corrections.

Her Portuguese-Filipino father also worked like her mother but retired from the federal government as an airplane repair employee. He died 11 and ½ years ago at the age of 74.




In her acceptance speech, Justice Cantil-Sakauye thanked her Cebuana grandmother for giving premium to education as a family value.

Her husband, Sacramento Police Lieutenant Mark Sakauye, 49, was born in Sacramento, a Japanese American, whose parents were interned during the outbreak of World War II.

If elected in Nov. 2, Justice Cantil-Sakauye will become the second woman Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California. She will be first Filipino and Asian American to become Chief Justice of California Supreme Court.

So, when Filipino Americans or Asian Americans will troop to the polls on Nov. 2nd in California, they should make sure to encourage their relatives, friends, neighbors to take the extra mile to get them to go out and vote “Yes” for Justice Cantil-Sakauye.

A candidate for this position for a Filipino American or an Asian American may not be available again in our lifetime. (



Comments (2)
1 Monday, 11 October 2010 11:53
This is a useless article. I want to know the principles of Tani, not that she is Filipino. Will she support the death penalty, will she support props like 187 and will she support a law like AZ 1070? Does she believe in the 3 strikes rule and does she coddle criminals or sock it to them? I DON'T CARE where her parents came from. I just want her to be an American citizen who believes in the U.S. constitution and will support the laws of our nation and state. What dribble when you proclaim, "A candidate for this position for a Filipino American or and Asian American may not be available again in our lifetime." Who cares? All I care about is the content of her character.
2 Monday, 18 October 2010 21:18
Cantil-Sakauye was appointed by consensus by Governor Schwarzenegger, Attorney General Brown, and former Chief Justice Ronald George. He believes in same-sex marriage and was quoted recently stating, “There is no one truth, only versions of it.” That quote is the statement of an activist judge.

If you vote for someone just because of his or her ethnic background, name, or skin color, that makes you a racist. If you can't be bothered to learn more than that about the candidates, you shouldn't be voting.

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