News Release

Commission on Judicial Appointments to Consider Two Appellate Court Nominations

Remote hearings on Jan. 6 for nominations to appellate courts in Sacramento and Santa Ana will be webcast live from the California Courts Newsroom.
Dec 1, 2021

Confirmation hearings will be streaming live starting at 10:00 a.m. today.

Public documents on nominees available here

VIA VIDEOCONFERENCE—The Commission on Judicial Appointments will hold virtual public hearings on Jan. 6 beginning at 10 a.m. to consider the following nominations by Gov. Gavin Newsom:

•  10 a.m.— Judge Maurice Sanchez, as Associate Justice of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three (Santa Ana)
•  10:45 a.m.— Judge Laurie M. Earl, as Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal (Sacramento)

The Commission members are:

•  Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (Chair)
•  Attorney General Rob Bonta
•  Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez (for Judge Sanchez’s hearing) and Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye (for Judge Earl’s hearing).

The hearings will be webcast live on the California Courts Newsroom.

The state Constitution specifies that a gubernatorial nomination or appointment to the Supreme Court or a Court of Appeal is “effective when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.”

The commission consists of the chief justice of California, the attorney general of California, and the presiding justice of the Court of Appeal of the affected district or, if there are two or more presiding justices, the one who has presided longest or, for a nomination or appointment to the Supreme Court, the presiding justice who has presided the longest on any Court of Appeal.

Appointee Biographies

Judge Maurice Sanchez would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Raymond J. Ikola. He has served as an Orange County Superior Court judge since 2018. Judge Sanchez was a partner at Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough (2017-2018) and at Baker and Hostetler (2005-2017). He was a shareholder at Alvarado, Smith and Sanchez (1993-2005) and managing counsel at Mazda Motor of America Inc. (1991-1993). Judge Sanchez was senior counsel at Hyundai Motor America (1986-1991) and an associate at Rutan and Tucker (1981-1986). He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Judge Laurie M. Earl would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice M. Kathleen Butz. She has served as a Sacramento County Superior Court judge since 2005. Judge Earl was senior assistant inspector general at the Sacramento County Office of Inspector General (2004-2005) and a deputy district attorney at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office (1995-2004). She served as an assistant public defender at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office (1989-1995). Judge Earl earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Lincoln Law School of Sacramento.