Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California

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Tani Cantil-Sakauye is a retired American jurist who served as the 28th Chief Justice of California from 2011 to 2021. She was born on October 19, 1959, in Sacramento, California. Cantil-Sakauye graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Political Science before earning her J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law in 1984.

After law school, Cantil-Sakauye worked as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. In 1990, she was appointed to the Sacramento Municipal Court by Governor George Deukmejian, and in 1997, she was elevated to the Sacramento Superior Court by Governor Pete Wilson.

In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Cantil-Sakauye to the California Third District Court of Appeal, where she served until her appointment as Chief Justice of California in 2011. During her tenure as Chief Justice, Cantil-Sakauye focused on improving access to justice for all Californians, particularly those who are underrepresented and marginalized.

Cantil-Sakauye was the first Filipina American and the second woman to serve as Chief Justice of California. She has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to the legal profession and the community, including the Distinguished Public Service Award from the UC Davis School of Law, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Trailblazer Award, and the Filipina Women’s Network Global FWN100 Award.

Cantil-Sakauye retired from the California Supreme Court on January 2, 2021, after serving for a decade as Chief Justice. She continues to be an influential voice in the legal community and an advocate for equal justice under the law.