California Lawyers Association

Appointment Adds Diversity to CA Supreme Court

Martin J. Jenkins was confirmed last month to the California Supreme Court, making him the first openly gay justice on the court and only the third African American man to serve on the state’s highest court. 

In his previous role as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s judicial appointments secretary, Jenkins helped the governor appoint a diverse group of 45 jurists. He spearheaded transparency efforts by making public the Regional Judicial Selection Advisory Committees that provide feedback on judicial candidates for nomination and appointment. 

Jenkins brings both federal and state court experience to the bench. He served on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California from 1997 to 2008, when he was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal.

Jenkins filled the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Ming W. Chin, who is the CLA’s Bernard E. Witkin Medal winner for 2020. 
See the court’s announcement of Jenkins’ Nov. 10 confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

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