The Center for Children’s Rights at Whittier Law School featured Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court at the annual John FitzRandolph Memorial Lecture on February 24, 2011. Justice Moreno spoke on The Evolution of the Family in California, highlighting landmark cases that he authored and others. Several of these cases have altered the face of the American family in California jurisprudence, reflecting changes in both cultural attitudes and reproductive technology.
Each year, the Center for Children’s Rights, which is dedicated to training lawyers who intend to advocate on behalf of children, invites a speaker who represents the highest ideals of children’s advocacy. Justice Moreno epitomizes a role model to inspire young people to rise to high levels in the legal system. In addition to his 24 years as a judge in state and federal courts, he has worked tirelessly to help California’s children, including chairing the Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care. Under his guidance the commission has recommended sweeping reforms in the state’s juvenile dependency court and child welfare systems.
After nearly a decade on the California Supreme Court, Justice Moreno is leaving the court to return to private practice. A recent article in the California Bar Journal said that he leaves behind “legacy of decency,” a view shared by a renowned Constitutional scholar who said Justice Moreno brought “great intellect and great decency to the state’s high court.” After his presentation at Whittier Law School, many students and guests spoke of how privileged they felt to hear from such an outstanding jurist.