Laurence D Rubin is a prominent judge in California who currently serves on the California 2nd District Court of Appeal. Although judges in California run in nonpartisan elections, there has been some speculation around Rubin’s political leanings and party affiliation. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Rubin’s background, judicial career, election history, and other indicators that provide clues into his political views.
Background on Laurence D Rubin
Early Life and Education
Laurence Rubin was born in Los Angeles, California in 1946. He earned his B.A. and Juris Doctor degrees from UCLA in 1968 and 1971, respectively. After law school, Rubin clerked for California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk, a prominent liberal judge, from 1971-1972.
After his clerkship, Rubin entered private practice as a litigation attorney in Los Angeles. He was an associate and then partner at the firm Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz and Selvin from 1973 to 1982.
In 1982, Rubin was appointed to serve as a judge on the Santa Monica Municipal Court. In 2001, he was elevated to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Democratic Governor Gray Davis. Later that year, Davis appointed Rubin to serve as an associate justice on the California Courts of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight.
In 2018, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown appointed Rubin to his current position as the presiding justice of Division Five of the Second District Court of Appeal.
California Judicial Elections
California elects its state judges in nonpartisan elections, meaning judges do not formally run as members of any political party. This is meant to ensure impartiality and independence of the judiciary. Judges’ political affiliations are not listed on the ballot.
After an initial appointment by the governor, appellate judges later run in unopposed retention elections where voters simply cast “yes” or “no” votes to determine if the judge remains on the bench for another term.
Laurence D Rubin’s Political Leanings
Although officially nonpartisan, several factors indicate that Laurence Rubin likely leans Democratic in his political orientation.
Appointed by Democratic Governors
Rubin has been appointed to judicial positions by two Democratic governors – Gray Davis and Jerry Brown. His appointments by high-profile Democrats suggest political alignment with the Democratic party.
Ties to Democratic Politicians
Earlier in his career, Rubin worked as a lawyer for prominent California Democrats. He also served on the executive committee of the California Democratic Party in the 1990s.
Rulings and Positions
Rubin is seen to take relatively liberal positions in his legal opinions and rulings as an appellate judge. He dissented in a case that upheld the ability of a father to transfer firearms to his adult son. He also ruled against companies seeking to avoid environmental regulations.
2022 Retention Election
Campaign and Endorsements
In the lead up to Rubin’s 2022 retention election, he received endorsements from both Democratic and Republican officials. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party endorsed his retention.
Rubin won the November 8, 2022 retention election with 72.3% of the vote, easily surpassing the 50% threshold required. The results showed broad bipartisan support for retaining Rubin on the appellate bench.
While officially nonpartisan, Judge Laurence Rubin’s background and record point toward an affiliation with the Democratic Party. From his appointments by Democratic governors to his generally liberal-leaning rulings, Rubin seems to align ideologically as a Democrat. However, his recent bipartisan endorsements and retention victory demonstrate that he maintains credibility and support across party lines as an appellate jurist in California. His lengthy judicial tenure speaks to his qualifications regardless of partisan leanings.
Q: Is Laurence Rubin a registered Democrat?
A: It is unclear if Rubin is officially registered as a Democrat, since California does not require judges to disclose partisan affiliation. However, he is widely believed to align with the Democratic Party.
Q: How long has Laurence Rubin served as a judge?
A: Rubin has served as a judge since 1982, including 40 years on the California bench. He has been an appellate justice since 2001.
Q: Who appointed Laurence Rubin to the appeals court?
A: Laurence Rubin was appointed to the California Court of Appeal by Democratic Governors Gray Davis and Jerry Brown.
Q: Did Laurence Rubin recently win a retention election?
A: Yes, Rubin was retained for another term on the Court of Appeal in November 2022 with over 72% of the vote.
Q: What evidence is there that Laurence Rubin is politically liberal?
A: Rubin’s appointments by Democratic governors, past ties to Democratic politicians, and his relatively liberal-leaning opinions and rulings point to an alignment with the Democratic Party’s ideological positions. However, he maintains bipartisan credibility.