Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th Chief Justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.
Before her elevation to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye served for more than 20 years on California appellate and trial courts. In 1990, Governor George Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court and in 1997; Governor Pete Wilson elevated her to the Superior Court of Sacramento County, where she presided over both criminal and civil cases. In 1997, she established and presided over the first court in Sacramento dedicated solely to domestic violence issues. In addition, then-Judge Cantil-Sakauye chaired the court’s criminal law committee and was a member of the presiding judge’s task force on domestic violence and the Home Court committee. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger nominated her to the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District.
A Sacramento native, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye attended C. K. McClatchy High School and Sacramento City College, before graduating with honors from the University of California, Davis. After taking a year off to visit her ancestral homeland, the Philippines, the Chief Justice began law school, receiving her JD from the UC Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., School of Law. She worked as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and then served on the senior staff of Governor Deukmejian, first as deputy legal affairs secretary and later as a deputy legislative secretary.
She is married to Mark Sakauye, a retired police lieutenant. They have two daughters.