SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Gov. Jerry Brown has nominated a Mexican-born Stanford law professor to the California Supreme Court.

Brown on Tuesday nominated 41-year-old Mariano-Florentino Cuellar to be an associate justice of the state's highest court. If approved, the registered Democrat would fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Marvin Baxter, a reliably conservative member of the court, in January.

This is Brown's second nomination since returning to the governor's office.

In 2011, he filled a vacancy by appointing University of California, Berkeley, law professor Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court after Senate Republicans blocked his nomination to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cuellar has taught administrative law, criminal law and international law, among other subjects. He also served as an adviser in the Obama White House.