San Francisco’s State Building Is Going to Get a Republican’s Name on It: Presenting the Ronald M. George State Office Complex

You wouldn’t believe how long people have been working on getting a new sign up on the State Building at 350 McAllister in Civic Center. I mean, this is a months-long project. They come out, they put up a sample, they look at it, and then they go back inside.

Anyway, in addition to the State Seal and the golden letters spelling out “STATE OF CALIFORNIA,” the old courthouse will soon be getting a big plaque what says, “RONALD M. GEORGE STATE OFFICE COMPLEX.”


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San Franciscans probably won’t ever really notice this addition to the front door of our California Supreme Court, but let’s meet our 27th Chief Justice:

“As a Superior Court judge, George presided over the trial of Hillside Strangler Angelo Buono in 1981–1983. George was lauded for his extremely unusual decision to deny the motion by Los Angeles County District Attorney‘s office to dismiss all 10 counts of murder against Buono. However, his unusual decision was speculated to be a result of his earlier decision to separate crucial counts of rape and sodomy, which in themselves would serve as evidence against the defendant, from the murder charges. The prosecutors felt the evidence against Buono was so weak that it did not justify even an attempt to win at trial. Judges rarely second-guess the prosecutors’ judgment on such a matter (and George stated that he was “loath” to do so). However, George’s review of the evidence in the case caused him to feel so strongly that the prosecutors were in error that he did exactly that.” 

See that? Dude wouldn’t let the prosecutor drop murder charges.

Now, what Arnold Schwarzenegger really wanted last year was to name the joint  the “Ronald M. George Justice Center,” but that didn’t fly with the SEIU union, so the name we’re getting is a kind of compromise. (Arnold also wanted to sell this building to his buddies but that didn’t work out neither, of course.)

Anyway, All Hail Republicans!

More deets of Executive Order S-17-10 after the jump.


WHEREAS Ronald M. George, the twenty-seventh Chief Justice of California, began his distinguished legal career in the California Attorney General’s Office, where he represented the People of the State of California at oral argument 11 times before the California Supreme Court and six times before the United States Supreme Court; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George began his judicial service in 1972 when he was appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan to the Municipal Court for the County of Los Angeles; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George was appointed in 1977 to the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and then appointed in 1987 to serve as an Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, by Governor George Deukmejian; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George was appointed as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court in 1991 by Governor Pete Wilson and then appointed by Governor Wilson to serve as Chief Justice in 1996; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George has been a superbly effective leader of California’s judicial branch, which operates the largest court system in the world; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George’s administrative accomplishments include unification of the trial courts, establishment of state funding for trial court operations, increased efficiency through transfer of courthouses to state ownership, and improvement of the jury system; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George has been a driving force behind policies to increase access to justice, including self-help programs such as the creation of family court self-help centers for unrepresented litigants, pro bono services, public funding for legal services, interpreter services, and plain English jury instructions; and
WHEREAS under Chief Justice George’s leadership, the California Supreme Court has maintained its reputation for judicial excellence and a recent study has determined that its opinions are followed by courts in other states more than the decisions of any other state high court; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George has written a number of important opinions on both civil and criminal law topics; and
WHEREAS Chief Justice George has chosen not to seek re-election, and his term will end on January 2, 2011; and
WHEREAS it is traditional to name important public works and building after individuals who have made significant contributions to the State of California; and
WHEREAS the San Francisco Civic Center Complex includes both the Hiram M. Johnson State Office Building and the Earl Warren Building; and
WHEREAS the California Supreme Court, the Judicial Council of California, and the Administrative Office of the Courts are all housed in the Civic Center Complex, as are other State offices and agencies; and
WHEREAS it is fitting and proper to honor Chief Justice George and his accomplishments by naming the San Francisco Civic Center Complex after him.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this Executive Order, effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the San Francisco Civic Center Complex, comprising both the Hiram M. Johnson State Office Building and the Earl Warren Building, shall be known as the “Ronald M. George State Office Complex,” and the two buildings included in this Complex shall retain their individual names.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order

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