Supreme Court of California Decisions

The California Supreme Court consists of seven justices, including a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. The Court has the authority to review decisions in the California Courts of Appeal, decisions by the Public Utilities Commission, and any cases that result in a death sentence. In general, the California Supreme Court will review cases that involve issues that have statewide significance. It may review a matter in part or in its entirety.

The Court also oversees matters related to misconduct within the legal profession. It reviews recommendations by the Commission on Judicial Performance and the California State Bar on disciplining a judge or attorney. It has issued a California Code of Judicial Conduct, which consists of six canons, to guide judges in the state.

To serve as a justice, a candidate must have been admitted to practice law in California for the last 10 years, or must have served as a judge in a California state court for the same time. The Governor of California appoints justices to the Court, but the Commission on Judicial Appointments must confirm each appointment. Also, a newly appointed justice must face a retention referendum when the state next votes to elect a governor. The term of each justice lasts for 12 years, after which a retention election will determine whether they serve another term. The process is the same for the Chief Justice as for the Associate Justices.

A justice on the California Supreme Court may be removed if the state assembly votes to impeach them, and then two-thirds of the state senate votes to convict them. Removal also may follow an investigation of misconduct by the justice that results in a recommendation of removal by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. Alternatively, the Commission may suspend or censure a justice.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of California

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of California
Walker v. Superior Court
Date: October 14, 2021
Docket Number: S263588M
Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc.  
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: S252796

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a company that hired the contractor that hired the injured plaintiff in this case, owned the premises, and operated the electrical equipment, was not liable for the plaintiff's injuries. Plai...

In re Friend
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: S256914M
McHugh v. Protective Life Insurance Co.  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: S259215

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that Defendant, which terminated one of the life insurance policies at issue in this case because the policy owner had failed to make a payment, had no right to terminate the policies without compl...

Walker v. Superior Court  
Date: August 30, 2021
Docket Number: S263588

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court committing Petitioner as a sexually violent predator, holding that hearsay evidence in a psychological evaluation report in finding probable cause to commit a pe...

People v. McDaniel  
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: S171393

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and possession of a firearm by a felon, holding that there was no reversible error. Specifically, t...

P. v. Lewis
Date: August 26, 2021
Docket Number: S260598M
People v. Wycoff  
Date: August 23, 2021
Docket Number: S178669

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's convictions of two counts of first-degree murder, holding that the district court erred in failing to initiate the competency procedures set forth in Cal. Penal Code 1368 and 1369....

Gonzalez v. Mathis  
Date: August 19, 2021
Docket Number: S247677

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that a landowner may not be liable for injuries to an independent contractor or its workers that result from a known hazard on the premises where there were no reasonable safety precautions the lan...

Skidgel v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board  
Date: August 19, 2021
Docket Number: S250149

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case involving the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that sections 631 and 683 of the Unemployment Insurance Code exclude from co...

Busker v. Wabtec  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: S251135

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered two questions certified by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by holding that publicly funded work on rolling stock, like train cars, does not fall under the statutory definition of "public wor...

Mendoza v. Fonseca McElroy Grinding Co.  
Date: August 16, 2021
Docket Number: S253574

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered a question certified to it by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by holding that Cal. Labor Code 1772 does not expand the categories of public work that trigger the obliga...

People v. Raybon  
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S256978

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that possession of cannabis in prison remains a violation of Cal. Penal Code 4573.6 and that Proposition 64 - the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act - did not invalidate cannabis-...

P. v. Raybon
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S256978A
Natarajan v. Dignity Health  
Date: August 12, 2021
Docket Number: S259364

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal rejecting Appellant's challenge to the denial of his motion to disqualify A. Robert Singer as a hearing officer in a peer review proceeding, holding that the...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.