Michael J. Raphael

Michael J. Raphael

Michael J. Raphael currently serves as a judge on the California 4th District Court of Appeal. Given his prominent judicial role, his political leanings have often been scrutinized. This article will examine Raphael’s background, apparent Democratic ties, lack of explicit Republican affiliation, and impartiality as a judge to shed light on his political party membership.

Raphael’s Background

Education and Early Career

Raphael graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1991. He clerked for judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and worked in private practice before becoming a Superior Court judge.

Judicial Appointments

Raphael was appointed to the Superior Court by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown in 2011. In 2018, Brown elevated him to the 4th District Court of Appeal.

Raphael’s Ties to the Democratic Party

Appointed by Democratic Governors

Both of Raphael’s judicial appointments came from Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, suggesting an affiliation with the Democratic party.

Endorsements from Democrats

Raphael has been endorsed by high-profile California Democrats like Senator Dianne Feinstein and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Membership in ABA’s Democrat-Leaning Committee

Raphael serves on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which skews liberal.

Lack of Explicit Republican Ties

No Republican Endorsements

There are no indications Raphael has received endorsements from Republican individuals or groups.

See also  Melissa Black

No Explicit Affiliation

Raphael has not publicly stated an affiliation with either major political party. Voter registration information is not publicly available for judges in California.

Impartiality as a Judge

Bipartisan Appointments Support Impartiality

Although appointed by Democrats, Raphael’s elevations were approved by California’s bipartisan judicial appointments commission.

Rulings Have Not Shown Partisan Bias

Analyses of Raphael’s rulings have not revealed any partisan bias in his decision-making as an appellate judge.


In conclusion, while Michael J. Raphael has ties suggesting a loose Democratic affiliation, he has maintained impartiality as a member of the judiciary. His official capacity requires avoiding explicit partisan leanings. Ultimately, Raphael’s record shows commitment to nonpartisan justice.


What political party is Michael Raphael affiliated with?

While he has some Democratic ties, Raphael has no official partisan affiliation due to his role as a judge. His rulings show impartiality.

Is Michael Raphael a Republican or Democrat?

He has connections to Democrats, but no explicit GOP ties. His record as a judge demonstrates nonpartisanship.

What evidence links Raphael to the Democratic Party?

Appointments from Democratic governors, endorsements from California Democrats, and involvement in a liberal ABA committee indicate loose Democratic ties.

How has Raphael shown he is impartial as a judge?

Bipartisan approval of his judicial appointments and analyses showing no bias in rulings support his nonpartisan role.

Does Michael Raphael publicly state he is a Democrat?

No, Raphael has not publicly declared affiliation with either major political party, as expected for a judge.

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