California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court is the highest court in the State of California.  The Supreme Court is composed of a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices.  All the seven Justices are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.  The California Supreme Court conducts regular sessions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento.  Decisions of the California Supreme Court are binding on all other California state courts.

Pursuant to Article VI, Section 10 of the Constitution of California, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in proceedings for extraordinary relief in the nature of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition.  The court also has original jurisdiction in habeas corpus proceedings.  The Supreme Court has the power to transfer to itself, before decision, a cause in a Court of Appeal.  Similarly the Supreme Court may, before decision, transfer a cause from itself to a Court of Appeal or from one Court of Appeal or division to another.

Article VI, Section 12 of the state Constitution gives the Supreme Court the authority to review decisions of the state Courts of Appeal.  By the authority of Article VI, Section 11 (a) of the state Constitution, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction when judgment of death has been pronounced by a trial court.  Such cases are automatically appealed directly from the trial court to the Supreme Court.  The only other matter that comes directly to the Supreme Court are appeals from decisions of the Public Utilities Commission.

The Supreme Court has the power to review the recommendations made by the Commission on Judicial Performance and the State Bar of California on matters regarding the discipline of judges and attorneys for misconduct.

California Supreme Court Website


Inside California Supreme Court