Two UC Davis-Connected Jurists – Cantil-Sakauye and Reynoso – Have California Courthouses Named for Them

Gavel with open book and scales on table

Gavel with open book and scales on table

By The Vanguard

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Two new California courthouses are being named after jurists with Sacramento and University of California, Davis, connections, according to the California Judicial Council this week.

The names of former Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the late Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, will adorn the buildings housing California courts.

Cantil-Sakauye, whose name will be on the new downtown Sacramento courthouse, is the first Filipina American to serve as the state’s chief justice. Cantil-Sakauye was raised in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Davis as an undergraduate before entering law school.

Cantil-Sakauye left the CA Supreme Court in 2023 after 12 years, and is now president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. Cantil-Sakauye was the first woman of color and second woman to serve as Chief Justice of California. 

The Court of Appeal in Santa Ana will be renamed for Reynoso, who died at age 90 in 2021. He was a UC Davis Law professor from 2001-2006 and the first Latino justice on the CA Supreme Court in 1982. Before that, Reynoso was a 3rd District Court of Appeal justice.

Reynoso, whose family worked in the fields when he was born, “spent a lifetime fighting the injustices he first encountered as a child in then-rural Orange County,” according to a UC Davis Law School statement.

Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the UC Davis Medal, Reynoso, as indicated above, was a UC Davis Law professor from 2001-06 and remained devoted to the law school and the University of California for the rest of his life.

“I have the tremendous, good fortune of sitting in the same chambers that then Associate Justice Cantil-Sakauye occupied when she served on the Court of Appeal,” said Shama Hakim Mesiwala, an associate justice on the appellate court in Sacramento.

Mesiwala added, “In my wildest dreams, I could not imagine having those chambers, let alone any chambers at the Court of Appeal. But she made this dream possible for me and so many others.”

“Justice Reynoso is an excellent example of someone who came from humble beginnings to go on to achieve extraordinary success,” said Kathleen E. O’Leary, who serves as presiding justice of the appellate court in Santa Ana.

O’Leary added, “A role model to whom you can personally relate can be the most effective. The goal is that young Latinos who see the courthouse will aspire to dream bigger and realize their full potential.”

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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