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Stanford Law Professor Named To California Supreme Court

Publication Date: 
July 22, 2014
San Jose Mercury News
Howard Mintz

The San Jose Mercury News reports on Professor Mariano-Florentino Cuellar's nomination to the California Supreme Court by Governor Jerry Brown.

Growing up in a hardscrabble town along the Rio Grande in Mexico, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar crossed the border with his brother each day to attend school in Brownsville, Texas, long before his path led to Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown took Cuéllar's immigrant journey to new heights, nominating the prominent Stanford University law professor to a vacancy on the California Supreme Court -- in the process adding a Latino to the state's high court and again choosing a legal scholar without judicial experience to reshape the court for decades to come.


Cuéllar, in a statement, said he was "enormously honored" by the nomination.

In an interview with Stanford Magazine last year, Cuéllar recalled how his upbringing influenced his view of politics and government, saying the expectations at his high school were low for Mexican students, many of them children of farmworkers.

He also recounted being stopped for his papers as a teenager, and that "it was a common thing to be surrounded by law enforcement."

Yet, Cuéllar told the magazine, "Part of what happened to me when I moved to the U.S. with a green card was there was a clear sense that even the very imperfect country I was joining was an extraordinary place."