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California Confirms First Openly Gay Supreme Court Justice

By Secret Los Angeles November 11, 2020

California is seeing a wave of historic moments.

California has seen a number of historic moments in the past few weeks, marking a turning point for a state that is already considered politically progressive. L.A. County saw an all-women Board of Supervisors for the first time in 168 years earlier this month and now Martin Jenkins has made history as the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice to the state. He is only the third African American man to serve on the state’s highest court.

Governor Gavin Newsom nominated the San Francisco native in October to fill the vacancy of the now-retired Justice Ming Chin.

On Tuesday, the Commission on Judicial Appointment unanimously confirmed Jenkins praising his “brilliant intellect, first-class temperament, and boundless humanity.”

Justice Jenkins has held a number of prominent judicial positions on both a state and federal level, including serving as an associate justice on the First District Court of Appeal from 2008 to 2019. Prior to that, he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1997 and served on that bench until 2008. In his most recent role as the Governor’s judicial appointments secretary, he has already been making history by creating more transparency within the Regional Judicial Selection Advisory Committees.

The Commission’s report on Judicial Nominees Evaluation referred to Justice Jenkins as “exceptionally well qualified” to serve on the California Supreme Court, which is the highest rating possible according to the court’s press release. The report also highlighted his “impressive 30-year record of professional accomplishment is equally matched by his strength of character, compassion, and integrity.”

[Featured Image: California Supreme Courts]