July 23, 2010
COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL PERFORMANCE
455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400
San Francisco, California 94102
Via U.S. Mail and Facsimile to (415)557-1266
Re: Formal Ethics Complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance against California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter.
I. INTRODUCTION & NOTICE OF COMPLAINT:
Please register a formal ethics complaint against Justice Marvin Baxter of the California Supreme Court for misconduct committed during the uttering of an offensive belittling comment concerning Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye.
II. SUMMARY OF FACTS:
Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye serves as Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Sacramento. She has been nominated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, and would replace Chief Justice Ronald George, who will retire on January 2, 2011.
Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is a very proud Filipina woman. If confirmed, she will be the first Filipina to serve as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.
Justice Cantil Sakauye is also currently a member of the Judicial Council. On the Council, she serves as Vice Chair of the Rules and Projects Committee, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch, co-Chair of the Judicial Recruitment and Retention Working Group, and a member of the California Commission on Impartial Courts.
Also serving on the Judicial Council is Marvin Baxter, who is an Associate Justice with the California Supreme Court.
When asked to express an opinion concerning the qualifications of Justice Cantil-Sakauye, Justice Baxter resorted to an extremely rude, unprofessional, and inappropriate description. Specifically, he stated, “I am very impressed with her, the manner in which she gets to the meat of the coconut on issues.” Notably, the nation of the Philippines is blessed to be the largest grower and producer of coconuts, and related products, in the world.
Simply stated, no racial or ethnic group should be mocked through the use of examples and metaphors concerning popular foods, or other items which the group is associated with. This is particularly true when such comments are made by a Justice of the California Supreme Court.
As such,the California Commission on Judicial Performance should reprimand Justice Baxter for resorting to and using stereotypical racial epithets.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions or assistance.