SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - If Gov. Jerry Brown wins re-election in November, he will be given an unprecedented opportunity to overhaul the California Supreme Court.
Voters in 1987 rejected Brown's first makeover when they removed Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other of his appointees from the high court because of their refusal to enforce the death penalty and consistently liberal rulings.
Three decades later, Brown could be presented another chance to shape the court. Justice Marvin Baxter, a reliably conservative member of the court, announced last week that he will retire in January, which would give Brown his third vacancy to fill if re-elected.
Brown has already appointed law professor Goodwin Liu to the court. Another vacancy remains to be filled since Justice Joyce Kennard retired in April.