The Law: A Pioneer Retires

A Pioneer Retires California's Chief Justice Roger J. Traynor is widely regarded as one of the greatest judges who never sat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Regret is hardly in order. A fount of creative federalism. Traynor has spent 30 years writing 930 opinions that often put the California Supreme Court far ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court on issues ranging from racial discrimination to contract doctrine. Now almost 70, Traynor has just announced that he will retire on Jan. 31.

Traynor's exit enables California's Governor Ronald Reagan to make...