Justice Marsha Slough to Retire from Appellate Court, Judicial Council Leadership
Justice Marsha Slough today announced she will retire Aug. 31, capping two decades of service as a judicial officer and nearly a decade as a Judicial Council member and leading voice on key judicial branch initiatives.
Said California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero: “Justice Slough has created an extraordinary legacy through her distinguished career as an appellate justice and her invaluable service on the Judicial Council. As a member of the council, she was instrumental in shaping policies and practices that further access to justice, improve court operations, and enhance public trust in our judiciary. Her legacy of excellence, fairness, and commitment to justice has made a lasting impact on the lives of Californians and will continue to inspire us all.”
During her time on the council, Justice Slough has chaired its Executive and Planning Committee and played a key role in drafting emergency court rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those emergency rules helped curb the spread of COVID-19 in California jails, reduced evictions, and foreclosures, and encouraged the use of remote technology to maintain access to the courts.
Said Acting Administrative Director Millicent Tidwell: “Justice Slough is held in the highest esteem by her Judicial Council colleagues and by council staff. Her tremendous ability to marshal justice stakeholders and build consensus has been integral to advancing major initiatives to improve courts statewide and making significant impacts in so many areas, from technology to pretrial reform.”
Justice Slough led a statewide Workgroup on Post-Pandemic Initiatives that examined and promoted innovative practices employed by courts during the pandemic. She also chaired the judicial branch’s Pretrial Reform and Operations Workgroup, which launched pretrial pilots that have since grown to include programs in all 58 counties.
Said Justice Slough: “The past 20 years has afforded me the unique privilege of observing firsthand the importance of the rule of law and the true value in a commitment to justice for all. I am grateful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the work of the Judicial Council and to have worked closely with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and, for only a short time, Chief Justice Guerrero. They represent the true definition of strong, decisive, focused leaders—who lead always from the desire to make the judicial branch better for all. I am also grateful to Governors Brown and Newsom for their commitment to bringing diversity to the bench throughout this state—it has made us better.”
Justice Slough made history as the first openly gay justice on the Fourth District Court of Appeal. During her tenure on that court, Justice Slough authored 454 opinions, including 55 published opinions.
Justice Slough first joined the bench in 2003 when Governor Gray Davis appointed her to the Superior Court of San Bernardino County. She served as presiding judge of the juvenile court, then assistant presiding judge of the court before twice being appointed as presiding judge. Governor Jerry Brown elevated Justice Slough to the appellate court in 2015, and she was confirmed to that position on Feb. 22, 2016.
Said retired Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye: “From presiding judge to justice, Justice Slough combined astute policies with compassionate leadership. She was instrumental in leading and building the most critical, sensitive, and impactful policies of the Judicial Council. In all her responsibilities, and they were myriad, she brought her analytical brilliance and collaborative nature. Justice Slough has worked tirelessly to improve justice in California, and she has overwhelmingly succeeded in that endeavor.”
Said former council Administrative Director Martin Hoshino: “Justice Slough places the problems of everyday people and the judiciary above all else. From her time serving twice as San Bernardino’s presiding judge during the Great Recession to her tenure in leadership roles at the Judicial Council, Justice Slough worked tirelessly to increase equal access to justice, modernize the judiciary, and harmonize the many voices of the branch family. She did so with the balance of tact and tenacity required. Californians are better off today because of Justice Slough’s commitment and character.”
Judicial Council Service
- Served on the council for three consecutive terms, starting in 2014
- Chair: Workgroup on Post-Pandemic Initiatives; Pretrial Reform and Operations Workgroup; Executive and Planning Committee
- Former Chair: Technology Committee; Technology Planning Task Force; Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee; Taskforce on Trial Court Fiscal Accountability (vice-chair); Code of Civil Procedure Section 367.9 Working Group
- Member: Commission on the Future of California’s Court System Executive Committee; Trial Court Budget Advisory Committee; Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee
Career on the Bench:
- August 2003: Appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the Superior Court of San Bernardino County
- 2012: Elevated to presiding judge of the Superior Court of San Bernardino County
- Dec. 23, 2015: Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two (Riverside)
- Feb. 22, 2016: Confirmed to Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Two (Riverside)
- November 6, 2018: Won retention election for another term on the Fourth Appellate District