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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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California State Court of AppealCandidate for Justice, District 4, Division 1

Photo of Judith McConnell

Judith McConnell

Presiding Justice, CA Court of Appeal, District 4, Division 1, 2023-present: VOTER APPROVAL NEEDED TO REMAIN IN OFFICE
1,464,579 votes (63.9%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • [In retention elections, justices do not run against opposing candidates.]
  • [If a justice receives more “yes” votes than "no" votes, the justice will remain in his or her position for another term.]
  • [If not, the justice will complete the current term and then a new justice will be appointed by the Governor.]



Profession:Presiding Justice, CA Court of Appeal
Administrative Presiding Judge, CA Court of Appeal, District 1, Division 1 — Elected position (2003–current)
Associate Justice, CA Court of Appeal District 4, Division 1 — Appointed position (2001–2003)
Judge, San Diego Superior Court — Elected position (1980–2001)
Judge, San Diego Municipal Court — Appointed position (1977–1980)
Associate, Reed, McConnell & Sullivan LLC (1976–1977)
Attorney, State of California Department of Transportation (1969–1976)


UC Berkeley School of Law J.D., law (1969)
UC Berkeley B.A., political science (1966)

Community Activities

Member, California Judicial Council (not availa–not availa)
Member, Commission on Judicial Performance (not availa–not availa)
Founder and first president (1971-1973), Lawyer's Club of San Diego (1971–not availa)
Founder and president, National Association of Women Judges (not availa–not availa)
Member, Blue Ribbon Task Force on Jury System Improvement (not availa–not availa)


Official biography from the CA Court of Appeal website:

Administrative Presiding Justice Judith McConnell was appointed to the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One in August 2001, and took office upon her confirmation October 3, 2001. On September 25, 2003, she was confirmed as Presiding Justice of the court. On September 29, 2003, she was appointed by the Chief Justice as Administrative Presiding Justice of the Fourth Appellate District. She served for 23 years as a trial judge in San Diego. Her colleagues on the Superior Court twice elected her Presiding Judge. She also served as Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court and Supervising Judge of the family, appellate, and civil law and motion departments during her tenure on the Superior Court.

During Justice McConnell's judicial career, she has worked to improve the court system through better case management and to make the courts more accessible to the public. Justice McConnell served on the California Judicial Council and the Commission on Judicial Performance, the judicial disciplinary agency. She was a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Jury System Improvement, the Commission on the Future of the Courts, and the Advisory Committee on Gender Bias in the Courts, a recipient of the 2001 Judicial Council Jurist of the Year Award and, in 1999, the first recipient of the Benjamin Aranda Access to Justice Award presented jointly by the Judicial Council, the California Judges Association, and the State Bar of California. In 2019, she received the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. She was a founder and first president of Lawyers Club of San Diego and founder and president of the National Association of Women Judges and has worked to eliminate all forms of bias in the courts.

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More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the California Secretary of State.

Videos (1)

The Legacy Project recounts the stories and preserves the rich judicial history of California judges, courts, and law through the voices of the justices who helped shape the development of California law in the 21st century.

This project is managed by a collaboration between the Judicial Council of California, Appellate Court Services; the Center for Judicial Education and Research; and the California Judicial Center Library. If you wish to learn more about this project and/or have questions regarding the videos, please email Appellate Court Services, Legacy Unit at, or call (415) 865-4250.

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