Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Third District Court of Appeal Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to be the state’s next chief justice.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put Cantil-Sakauye, 50, on the Third District five years ago. She was a deputy legal affairs secretary under former Gov. George Deukmejian, and she’s been on the Judicial Council for the past two years. She’s also a Republican, and offers a compelling personal narrative: She finished high school at 16, and when she was named to the municipal court bench at age 30, she became the state’s youngest judge. She’s a Sacramento native, a mother of two and the wife of a police lieutenant. Her Filipina mother and Filipino Portuguese father were farmworkers in Hawaii. She’d give the court a female majority for the first time.

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