Rare current lawmaker named among 12 California judges

Gov. Gavin Newsom took the rare step of appointing a California state lawmaker to one of 12 judge positions on Monday, triggering a special election for the Los Angeles County seat. retired Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry. Chau, 64, has represented the 49th District of the San Gabriel Valley Assembly since his election in 2012. He holds a law degree from the Southwestern University School of Law and practiced solo from 1994 until his election. He was reportedly appointed out of the assembly in 2024 after representing a district in which 45% of voters are registered Democrats; 19% Republicans; and 32% without party preference. It is the only legislative district where people of Asian descent make up a majority of the population, at 54%, according to the California Target Book, which tracks legislative elections. Monterey Park has become a gateway city for Asian residents, according to the Target Book, and mostly Chinese immigrants have spread to other nearby towns. Los Angeles Community College District Administrator and former Assembly candidate Mike Fong, San Gabriel City Councilor Jason Pu and Service Employees International Union organizer Frank Torres has already applied for the seat in the hope Chau leaves, according to the Target Book. Fong has already been endorsed by Chau, United States Representative Judy Chu and former Assembly Member Mike Eng, although the date for Chau’s resignation and hence the special election has yet to be set. said representing the district “has been a real honor and privilege.” -Gov. Jerry Brown in 1980. California State Library legislative historian Alex Vassar, however, said McVittie was one of three lawmakers appointed to the bench shortly after their terms ended. According to his tally, 37 sitting lawmakers have resigned after being appointed judges, but only 14 of them in the past 70 years. And the last one before Chau was then Sen. Larry Stirling in 1989 – appointed by then governor. George Deukmejian over three decades ago. Brown appointed four sitting lawmakers to the bench during his first two terms in the 1970s and 1980s, according to Vassar’s tally. Besides Chau, Newsom on Monday announced the appointment of 10 other Superior Court judges, including two more in Los Angeles County and two in Sacramento County. Unique nominations went to Alameda, Kings, Merced, Modoc, Nevada and Tulare counties. Kathleen Butz. His appointment must be confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Gov. Gavin Newsom made the rare decision to appoint a California state lawmaker to one of 12 judge positions on Monday, triggering a special election for the Los Angeles County seat.

Assembly member Ed Chau, a Democrat from Monterey Park, will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry.

Chau, 64, has represented the 49th Assembly District of the San Gabriel Valley since his election in 2012. He graduated in Law from Southwestern University School of Law and practiced solo from 1994 until his election.

He was reportedly expelled from the Assembly in 2024 after representing a constituency in which 45% of voters are registered Democrats; 19% Republicans; and 32% without party preference.

It is the only legislative constituency where people of Asian descent make up a majority of the population, at 54%, according to the California Target Book, which tracks legislative elections. Monterey Park has become a gateway city for Asian residents, according to the Target Book, and mostly Chinese immigrants have spread to other nearby towns.

Los Angeles Community College district administrator and former Assembly candidate Mike Fong, San Gabriel city councilor Jason Pu and Service Employees International Union organizer Frank Torres have already applied for the seat in the hope Chau leaves, according to the Target Book.

Fong has already been endorsed by Chau, United States Representative Judy Chu and former Assembly Member Mike Eng, although the date for Chau’s resignation and therefore the special election has yet to be set. .

Chau in a statement thanked Newsom, said he will miss his legislative colleagues and said representing the district “has been a real honor and privilege.”

Newsom’s office said it did not have a complete file on sitting lawmakers appointed to judge positions, but said MP William J. McVittie was appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court by the government of the day. Jerry Brown in 1980.

California State Library legislative historian Alex Vassar, however, said McVittie was among three lawmakers appointed to the bench shortly after their terms ended.

According to his tally, 37 sitting lawmakers have resigned after being appointed judges, but only 14 of them in the past 70 years. And the last one before Chau was then Sen. Larry Stirling in 1989 – appointed by then governor. George Deukmejian over three decades ago.

Brown appointed four sitting lawmakers to the bench during his first two terms in the 1970s and 1980s, according to Vassar’s tally.

Besides Chau, Newsom on Monday announced the appointment of 10 other Superior Court judges, including two more in Los Angeles County and two in Sacramento County. Individual nominations went to Alameda, Kings, Merced, Modoc, Nevada and Tulare counties.

He also appointed Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl, 60, to the Third District Court of Appeal to fill the vacant position created by the retirement of Judge M. Kathleen. Butz.

His appointment must be confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission.


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