Tani Cantil-Sakauye, chosen by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as his nominee to replace retiring California Chief Justice Ronald George, speaks to the L.A. Times but doesn't offer much up in terms of her views on same-sex marriage:
Funny and self-deprecating, she acknowledged during an hour-and-a-half interview in the governor's office that she has much to learn, particularly on the administration of the death penalty. She shied away from discussing hot-button issues.
"I never presume I am the smartest one in the room," she said.
She resolutely refused to state her position on same-sex marriage, saying only that she married a gay couple — "acquaintances" — during the six months in 2008 when such marriages were legal, and that she would follow precedent.
"I perform hundreds of weddings, and they included one same-sex marriage," she said. She said she did not hesitate to marry the couple, whom she declined to describe, "because it was the law."
She is expected to be easily confirmed by a three-member state commission and to be on the ballot in November.
Cantil-Sakauye, who was also apparently George's choice, also commented on the state's initiative process behind Proposition 8:
She said she has "no opinion" about whether there is a need to reform California's initiative process, which George has criticized for bloating the state Constitution.
Gays condemned the initiative process when voters amended the Constitution in 2008 and took away their right to marry, which a ruling by the state high court had given them six months earlier.
In general, Cantil-Sakauye said, the initiative process "serves a useful purpose."
Cantil-Sakauye, a moderate Republican, is also the first non-white nominee for Chief Justice.