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
People v. Camacho  
Date: November 28, 2022
Docket Number: S141080

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior convicting Defendant, following a jury trial, of first degree murder and sentencing him to death, holding that Defendant failed to demonstrate that alleged errors…

People v. Miranda-Guerrero  
Date: November 17, 2022
Docket Number: S118147

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction for kidnapping to commit rape, murder, attempted carjacking, assault with intent to commit rape, and receiving stolen property, and Defendant's sentence of death, holding…

Yahoo Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA  
Date: November 17, 2022
Docket Number: S253593

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court held that the language in the insurance policy at issue in this case provided liability coverage for right-of-seclusion violations litigated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA),…

People v. Henderson  
Date: November 17, 2022
Docket Number: S265172

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal ruling that Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012, stripped sentencing courts of the discretion to impose concurrent terms for felonies that…

People v. Tran  
Date: August 29, 2022
Docket Number: S165998

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death but struck the enhancement that Defendant committed the murder for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association…

Geiser v. Kuhns  
Date: August 29, 2022
Docket Number: S262032

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal holding that a sidewalk picket purporting to protest a real estate company's business practices after the company evicted two long-term residents from their…

Hoffmann v. Young  
Date: August 29, 2022
Docket Number: S266003

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal reversing the judgment of the trial court ruling that the exception to landowners' negation of their statutory duty of care to keep their property safe for…

People v. Ramirez  
Date: August 25, 2022
Docket Number: S099844

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions and life sentences for first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and drug-related offenses, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his…

People v. Aguayo  
Date: August 25, 2022
Docket Number: S254554

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming Defendant's conviction of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury,…

County of Butte v. Dept. of Water Resources
Date: August 25, 2022
Docket Number: S258574M
People v. Renteria  
Date: August 25, 2022
Docket Number: S266854

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal affirming Defendant's convictions and sentences, holding that the gang penalties imposed by the trial court were unsupported by the evidence. Defendant was…

In re Milton  
Date: August 22, 2022
Docket Number: S259954

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal denying Petitioner's petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking resentencing under People v. Gallardo (2017) 4 Cal.5th 120, holding that the Gallardo rule…

People v. Hendrix  
Date: August 22, 2022
Docket Number: S265668

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeal concluding that an instructional error in Defendant's criminal trial was not prejudicial and thus did not require reversal, holding that the instructional…

Serova v. Sony Music Entertainment  
Date: August 18, 2022
Docket Number: S260736

Justia Opinion Summary: In this dispute over whether Plaintiff's claims premised on the packaging and video of Michael, an album of music billed as Michael Jackson's first posthumous release, were subject to the album marketers' motion to…

Coast Community College District v. Commission on State Mandates  
Date: August 15, 2022
Docket Number: S262663

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the judgment of the trial court affirming the findings of the Commission on State Mandates rejecting the claims brought by Plaintiffs, several…

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.