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SACRAMENTO � Legislative Democrats criticized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday for appointing too many white men to the bench last week. The 23 appointees, named late Friday, will fill almost half of the 50 trial court judgeships created by the Legislature last year. The appointments include 17 men, 13 prosecutors, three African-Americans and one Latina. A top aide to Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez warned that the lack of diversity in Schwarzenegger’s picks could spell trouble for his current campaign to get the Legislature to authorize another 50 bench positions. “The judicial appointments on Friday surely do not provide the Legislature with a great deal of incentive to create additional judgeships this year, despite the need,” said Fredericka McGee, Nunez’s general counsel. The ethnic breakdown of the appointees was supplied by Nunez’s office; the governor did not provide statistics with his announcement Friday. While Schwarzenegger is required by law to report the overall ethnic makeup of all judicial applicants and appointments every year, “that’s not information we’re at liberty to release on a person-by-person basis,” said gubernatorial spokeswoman Gena Grebitus.
SB 56 JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS A look at the demographic profile of the 23 people Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Friday to newly created bench seats: GENDER 17 are men 6 are women ETHNICITY 18 are Caucasian 1 is Latina 3 are African-American 1 is unknown POLITICAL AFFILIATION 16 are registered Republicans 7 are registered Democrats PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUNDS 11 are prosecutors with a district attorney’s office 4 are in private practice 4 are superior court commissioners 1 is from a public defender’s office 1 is from a county counsel’s office 1 is from a U.S. attorney’s office 1 is a deputy attorney general The appointees, by county: FRESNO Brian Arax Alvin Harrell Kristi Culver Kapetan KERN John Brownlee David Lampe PLACER Mark Curry RIVERSIDE Mac Fisher Timothy Freer Charles Koosed SACRAMENTO Stacy Boulware Eurie Matthew Gary Kevin McCormick Delbert Oros SAN BERNARDINOColin Bilash Cara Hutson Robert Lemkau Michael Sachs Wilfred Schneider Jr. SAN JOAQUIN Roger Ross Xapuri Villapudua SOLANO Donna Stashyn SONOMA Gary Medvigy TULARE Kathryn Montejano SOURCE: Office of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

“The judgeships created … were a significant step toward reducing burdens on our courts and providing an opportunity to add much needed diversity to reflect California’s population,” Grebitus said. “The governor is committed to appointing the best candidates and will consider each applicant’s qualifications on a case-by-case basis.” Democrats and minority bar organizations had been waiting anxiously to see the new picks after last year’s bruising fight over Senate Bill 56, the legislation that created the first new trial court judgeships in California since 2000. Assembly Democrats, led by Nunez, threatened to cut authorization for the 50 judgeships in half, relenting only when Schwarzenegger agreed to try to recruit a more diverse pool of judicial applicants. Minority lawyers applauded the governor’s February appointment of Sharon Majors-Lewis as his judicial appointments secretary. The African-American prosecutor from San Diego County has toured the state in recent months, encouraging minorities to apply for the bench. Edwin Prather, president of the Asian American Bar Association’s Bay Area chapter, said many of his organization’s members were buoyed by the governor’s actions and pleased still more when Majors-Lewis in May announced a diverse group of new judges to fill existing vacancies. The group’s recent seminar on becoming a judge drew a record crowd, Prather said. But there were no Asian-Americans among the 23 judges Schwarzenegger named on Friday. “It just seems like they’ve been saying all the right things,” Prather said. “But it’s one thing to talk the talk. You’ve got to do all the right things, too.” Christopher Arriola, judicial chairman for California La Raza Lawyers, said the governor has many good minority judicial candidates to choose from in the Inland Empire and Central Valley. The picks “certainly do not reflect the diversity of California or the diversity promised by the Schwarzenegger administration earlier this year,” Arriola said. Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, expressed concern about the fate of his legislation to create the second round of 50 new judgeships in the 2007-08 fiscal year, which starts on July 1. “The Legislature made clear last year that our trial courts should better reflect the diversity of this state,” Jones said in a prepared statement. “I am disappointed that in this first round of appointments the governor has missed the opportunity to appoint more qualified minority candidates to serve on the bench.”

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