Carlos Moreno

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Carlos Moreno
Former California Supreme Court Justice
Assumed office
United States District Court for the Central District of California
In office
Succeeded byGoodwin Liu
Political partyDemocrat

Carlos R. Moreno (b. 1948) was an associate justice of the Supreme Court of California from October 18, 2001 to February 29, 2011.[1]

In 2009, Moreno declined consideration for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, saying that he would not leave the California Supreme Court for anything other than the Supreme Court of the United States.[2]

Early life and education

Moreno earned his B.A. in political science from Yale University in 1970 and his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1975.

Professional career

Justice Moreno began his career as a deputy city attorney with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, prosecuting criminal and civil consumer protection cases. He also handled politically sensitive and legislative matters as special counsel to the city attorney. In 1979 he joined the firm of Mori & Ota (now known as Kelley, Drye & Warren), representing institutional clients in the firm's general commercial litigation practice.[3]

Judicial career

Central District of California

In 1986, Governor Deukmejian appointed Moreno to the Compton Municipal Court, where he handled general criminal matters and supervised the court's civil department. In October 1993, Governor Wilson elevated Moreno to the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, where he presided over felony trials until his elevation to the federal bench.[3]

Justice Moreno was nominated to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton and in February 1998, he was unanimously confirmed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California by the United States Senate. Moreno served the Central District of California for over three years, until his resignation from the court on October 18, 2001.[4] He was sworn in that same day to the California Supreme Court. Moreno was succeeded on the federal court by Cormac Carney.

Associations and awards

  • Recipient of Yale Medal[5]
  • Chair of the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care
  • Director of the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center
  • Member of the California Judges Association
  • Member of the Presiding Judges Association
  • Member of the Municipal Court Judges Association of Los Angeles County
  • Past president of the Mexican American Bar Association
  • Past member of the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School
  • Past member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni
  • Past president of the Yale Club of Southern California
  • Criminal Justice Superior Court Judge of the Year Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association (1997)
  • Roger J. Traynor Appellate Justice of the Year Award from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (2003)[3]

2010 retention election

See also: California judicial elections, 2010

After appointment, California Supreme Court justices are elected via retention election for a 12-year term at the next general election. Moreno was retained in 2010 with 67.8 percent of the vote.[6]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Moreno received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -1.52, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.32 that justices received in California. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[7]

See also

External links


Political offices
Preceded by:
Robert Takasugi
Central District of California
Seat #3
Succeeded by:
Cormac Carney