Davis Taps Abortion-Rights Supporter Carlos Moreno as State Supreme Court Nominee
In his first state Supreme Court appointment, Gov. Gray Davis (D) on Wednesday named U.S. District Judge Carlos Moreno, a "centrist" abortion-rights supporter, to fill the vacant seat left by the death of Justice Stanley Mosk, the Los Angeles Times reports. Moreno, whose appointment is expected to be approved next month by a judicial confirmation commission, received a unanimous rating of "exceptionally well-qualified" from the state bar committee. He was one of four candidates to receive the committee's highest endorsement. Potentially the court's first Latino justice in 12 years, Moreno said the position will allow him to "really address very critical cutting-edge issues involving social policy" and to shape "which direction the law is going to take." His appointment will most likely "shift the court slightly to the right," particularly on issues of criminal law, according to University of Santa Clara professor Gerald Uelmen, who expects Moreno to be more moderate than Mosk, known to be the court's "most liberal jurist" (Dolan/Rosenzweig, Los Angles Times, 9/27).