Chief Justice of California says she's no longer a Republican due to Kavanaugh
On Thursday, nonprofit news organization CALmatters reported that Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, is renouncing the Republican Party and will re-register as "no party preference", citing the behavior of the GOP during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.
"I felt compelled to make a choice now. It better suits what I do and how I approach issues," said Cantil-Sakauye, who said she has been dissatisfied with the direction of the GOP and that her friends told her "your party left you" as she discussed the hearings with them.
The GOP confirmed Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy despite multiple allegations of attempted rape while Kavanaugh was in high school and college. In the process, Republicans from President Donald Trump on down ruthlessly dragged his accusers through the mud, particularly the first accuser, California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford — and ran a sham FBI investigation that "cleared" him while refusing to interview dozens of witnesses.
As women across the country rejected Kavanaugh and rape survivors poured into Senate offices, Senate Republicans callously dismissed them, with Sen. Orrin Hatch shouting at a group of protestors to "grow up." In the end, he was confirmed 50 to 48, with only Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) opposing him among Republicans.
Cantil-Sakauye, a former prosecutor, was appointed to the court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2011, the first Filipina-American and second woman to serve as California's chief justice. She has been increasingly at odds with the GOP, saying that Trump's attacks on "Obama judges" are "doing damage, short-term and long-term, to courts, to the rule of law" — a criticism that was also echoed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
The California Supreme Court is a nonpartisan institution, but Cantil-Sakauye abandoning her personal party affiliation is yet another indicator of the GOP's precipitous decline in the Golden State.
In the midterm elections, the California GOP were locked out of every statewide race and lost seven House seats. The entirety of Orange County, once a reliable GOP stronghold, will now be represented by Democrats. The rout was so complete that GOP strategists in California are now debating whether the party is even viable in the state anymore.