Chief Justice of California Supreme Court quits GOP over Kavanaugh

Chief Justice of California Tani Cantil-Sakauye has reportedly renounced her Republican party registration and re-registered as a no-party-preference voter, citing now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Cantil-Sakauye made the comments in a phone interview on Thursday to CALmatters, a nonprofit news organization, saying that she had been thinking about Kavanaugh's September confirmation hearing.

"I've been thinking about it for some time," Cantil-Sakauye told the news outlet of her decision. She said that she spoke with her husband and friends about the hearing and their conclusion was that "you didn't leave the party. The party left you.

Christine Blasey Ford, a California professor, testified before Congress in September that in 1982, Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Kavanaugh, who also testified, strongly denied it. He was narrowly confirmed in October by the Senate to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 vote.

"I felt compelled to make a choice now. It better suits what I do and how I approach issues," Cantil-Sakauye told the news outlet, adding that she has become displeased with the GOP's direction nationally and in her home state.

Cantil-Sakauye, 59, was tapped by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, in 2011 to be the state's top judge. She is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as chief justice of California's Supreme Court, according to her official biography.

Related: Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court Justice

10 PHOTOS
Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice as protesters rally
See Gallery
Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as Supreme Court justice as protesters rally
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by Chief Justice John Roberts as Kavanaugh's wife Ashley holds the family bible and his daughters Liza and Margaret look on in a handout photo provided by the U.S. Supreme Court taken at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 6: In this handout photo provided by the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, (Retired) administers the Judicial Oath to Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as his wife Ashley Kavanaugh holds the Bible while joined by their daughters Margaret and Liza, in the Justices Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building on October 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Fred Schilling/Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images)
A protester sits on the lap of "Lady Justice" on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as demonstrators storm the steps and doors of the Supreme Court while Judge Brett Kavanaugh is being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Demonstrators protest in the street behind the U.S. Supreme Court building as they wait for Justice Brett Kavanaugh to depart after he was sworn in as an Associate Justice in ceremonies at the court on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Demostrators chant ion front of the locked doors at the top of the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building while Judge Brett Kavanaugh is being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protesters overrun the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court as Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A man prays amidst protesters demonstrating on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in inside in Washington, U.S. October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Protester in support of and against the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building as Judge Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Annabella Helman of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Olivia McAuliffe of McLean, Virginia join hands as protesters overrun the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court as Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in as an Associate Justice in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan
A protester stands on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in front of police after they cleared the steps of demonstrators while Judge Brett Kavanaugh was being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the court inside on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Cantil-Sakauye previously excoriated President Donald Trump for being as being harmful to the "rule of law" because of his attacks on judges.

"The people uttering those are doing damage, short-term and long-term, to courts, to the rule of law," Cantil-Sakauye said earlier this week.

She was referring to questions regarding Trump's statement last month that a ruling against the administration's immigration policy was made by "an Obama judge."

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts also rebutted Trump's remarks at the time in a rare statement, saying, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."

Read Full Story