Carol Corrigan

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Carol Corrigan
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California
Assumed office
January 4, 2006
Appointed byArnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded byJanice Rogers Brown
Personal details
Carol Ann Corrigan

(1948-08-16) August 16, 1948 (age 75)
Stockton, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican[1]
EducationHoly Names College (BA)
University of California, Hastings (JD)

Carol Ann Corrigan (born August 16, 1948) is an associate justice of the California Supreme Court.


Corrigan, the daughter of a newspaperman and a homemaker, grew up in the San Joaquin Valley city of Stockton, California. She graduated from Saint Mary's High School in Stockton, and attended the Catholic, then women-only, Holy Names College in Oakland, graduating in 1970.[2] After a brief stint in a graduate program in psychology, Corrigan enrolled at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Hastings Law Journal.[3] She received her Juris Doctor degree in 1975 and was admitted to the California bar the same year.[4]

Corrigan worked as a prosecutor in Alameda County, California from 1975, and as a senior prosecutor from 1985 until 1987 when she was appointed to the county's Municipal Court.[5] In 1991 she became a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court, the state's principal trial court there, where she was affectionately known as Big Bird. In 1994, Governor Pete Wilson appointed her as an associate justice in the California Court of Appeal, First District.[6] She was elected to a term later in 1994, and re-elected in 1998. There, she served on a commission that overhauled the state's court rules.

Corrigan has resided in and around Oakland for most of her adult life.

California Supreme Court[edit]

On December 9, 2005, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated her to the Supreme Court of California[7] to replace Justice Janice Rogers Brown.[8] Corrigan was confirmed in this position January 4, 2006.[9]

Corrigan's notable opinions include a March 2, 2017, ruling in City of San Jose v. Superior Court,[10] that emails and text messages on personal devices of government employees are subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.[11][12] In 2012, she dissented in a case concerning the statute of limitations for claims of abuse by a priest.[13][14][15] In 2011, she authored the majority opinion in Save the Plastic Bag Coalition v. City of Manhattan Beach, in which the court upheld a city ordinance banning plastic bags, reversing the appellate court.[16] In 2008, she wrote a dissent in the same-sex marriage case, In re Marriage Cases, which held that the Equal Protection Clause of the California Constitution mandated that the state allow same-sex marriages.

In 2022, Corrigan voted to uphold a lower-court order that forced UC Berkeley to cut its enrollment numbers after a group of Berkeley residents sued the university. The Berkeley residents claimed that UC Berkeley was violating the California Environmental Quality Act by expanding its enrollment numbers.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dolan, Maura (December 10, 2005). "Gov. Names Moderate to High Court". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame: Carol Corrigan". Holy Names University. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Carol Corrigan '75: Steward of the Law". UC Hastings Law School Magazine. September 18, 2012. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "Previous Commencement Speakers". University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Municipal Courts in California were consolidated into the Superior Courts of their respective counties following the passage of Proposition 220 in June 1998. Nonpartial Information on California 1998 Primary Election Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan". California State Courts. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Justice Carol Corrigan to the Supreme Court of the State of California". Office of the Governor. 9 December 2005. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
  8. ^ Justice Brown had resigned to accept an appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  9. ^ Egelko, Bob (July 28, 2017). "Why you should care about who will sit on California's Supreme Court". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  10. ^ City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 2, 2017, S218066) __ Cal. 5th __. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  11. ^ Lee, Bobby (March 6, 2017). "CA Supreme Court rules private emails, text messages of public officials can be public records". Daily Californian. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  12. ^ Giwargis, Ramona (March 3, 2017). "San Jose: Government emails on personal devices are public record, state's top court decides". Mercury News. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Quarry v. Doe I (2012), 53 Cal. 4th 945, 272 P.3d 977, 139 Cal. Rptr. 3d 3. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Clark, Monica (January 17, 2012). "California Supreme Court to which ultimately kept in place a statute of limitations in abuse cases". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  15. ^ Leff, Lisa (March 29, 2012). "Court upholds time limit for clergy abuse claims". San Diego Tribune. Associated Press. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Shah, Paras (September 21, 2011). "Council to send letter urging removal of pro plastic bag language in state curriculum". Daily Californian. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  17. ^ Asimov, Nanette; Egelko, Bob (2022-03-03). "UC Berkeley must withhold thousands of acceptance letters after state Supreme Court ruling". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2022-03-06.


External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, First District
Succeeded by
Preceded by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California