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Kathryn Mickle Werdegar

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Kathryn Mickle Werdegar
Court Information:
California Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Salary:  $221,292
Appointed by:   Gov. Pete Wilson
Active:   1994-2027
Past post:   Judge, California First District Court of Appeal
Past term:   1988-1994
Personal History
Born:   April 5, 1936
Undergraduate:   University of California at Berkeley
Law School:   George Washington University
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Retention
State:  California
Election information 2014:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  11/4/2014
Election vote:  72.6%ApprovedA

Kathryn M. Werdegar is an associate justice of the seven-member California Supreme Court. She was appointed to the court in the state's Commission-selection, political appointment method of judicial selection on May 3, 1994, by Governor Pete Wilson.[1] Werdegar ran for retention in 2014, winning a new twelve-year term that expires on January 3, 2027.[2]



See also: California judicial elections, 2014
Werdegar was retained to the California Supreme Court with 72.6 percent of the vote on November 4, 2014.[3]


  • The Sacramento Bee[4]


California Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2002 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Kathryn M. Werdegar Green check mark transparent.png 3,776,837 74.2%
Against retention 1,318,662 25.8%
  • Click here for 2002 General Election Results from the California Secretary of State.


Justice Werdegar earned her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Though she began her law studies at the University of California School of Law, Justict Werdegar ultimately earned her J.D. from George Washington University, where she graduated first in her class.[1]


Werdegar served in many different capacities prior to her appointment to the California courts. After graduation from law school, she worked at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. After moving back to California, she served as a senior staff attorney with the California Courts of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. She also taught and worked as an associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Werdegar was appointed to the California First District Court of Appeal in 1988 prior to her appointment to the California Supreme Court.[1]

Awards and associations


  • 2002: Citation Award, University of California School of Law
  • 1998: Justice of the Year Award, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • 1996: Appellate Justice of the Year Award, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
  • 1996: California Alumni Association Excellence in Achievement Award
  • 1996: Distinguished Public Service Award, George Washington University Law Alumni Association
  • 1962: Charles Glover Award, George Washington University School of Law[1]


  • Editor-in-Chief, California Law Review
  • Regents' Lecturer, University of California at Berkeley
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges
  • Member, California/Nevada Women Judges Association
  • Member, California Judges Association
  • Board Member, California Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Former Board Member, Boalt Hall Alumni Association[1]

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. Werdegar received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.49, 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.[5]

Financial disclosure

See also: Center for Public Integrity Study on State Supreme Court Disclosure Requirements

A 2013 study by the Center for Public Integrity on financial disclosure requirements for state supreme court justices found that Werdegar participated in a 2012 case involving Wells Fargo in spite of owning as much as $1 million in Wells Fargo stock. In response to this revelation, the California Supreme Court said it would review internal procedures meant to detect conflicts of interest. Court spokesperson Cathal Conneely said, "The justice [Werdegar] regrets the error."[6]

California earned a "C" in the study.[6]

See also

External links