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Patricia Guerrero to be sworn in as 1st Latina justice on California Supreme Court

Gov. Gavin Newsom will be sworn in as Patricia Guerrero as the first Latina judge in the California Supreme Court on Monday. Guerrero was unanimously confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission last week, after being nominated for her role in court in February. (Watch a live stream of Justice Guerrero’s swearing-in at 1:30 p.m. in the video leading the way.) Guerrero, 50, of San Diego, grew up in rural Imperial Valley and has worked as a federal attorney general. The Supreme Court adjudicates and is located in the 4th District Court of Appeal. The seven-member California Supreme Court now consists of four Democrat-nominated judges and two Republican nominees. Newsom has made diversity a priority. In 2020, he appointed the first openly gay judge, Martin Jenkins, who is the third black man to serve in court. Guerrero said in a statement after her candidacy that it was a “great honor” to be selected and if confirmed she would “not come here alone,” Guerrero said in a video. “I stand on the shoulders of my parents and grandparents who came to this country for better opportunities. I think it is important for people to see that… they can achieve whatever dream they want with opportunities and hard work.” Guerrero’s grandfather came to the United States from the Mexican state of Sonora and obtained a residence permit through a sponsor, he said. Her father arrived, initially working collecting crops. Her mother, who recently died of breast cancer, stressed the importance of reading and education and said there were no restrictions on what her children could achieve. Guerrero worked in a grocery store as a teenager and was a competitor in her high school. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford Law School. Newsom said Guerrero is well regarded with a “strong legal mindset” and a wide range of experiences. He has written views that protect consumer rights and individual rights while advocating for the constitutional rights of criminals. Despite the growing influence of Latins, the largest racial or ethnic group of California’s nearly 40 million people, no Latina has served in a state-wide constitutional office or as a U.S. senator, said Sonja Diaz, Latino’s founding director. UCLA Policy and Politics Initiative. Latinos sit on the highest courts in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New York and Texas, Diaz said. “Latins make up about 20 percent of the population of California, but we are underrepresented in almost every industry, including the California judiciary,” said Sen. María Elena Durazo, chair of the Latino Legislature in California. “When Latinos are absent from this critical branch of government, our experiences and prospects are ruled out, and that fluctuates in our communities in many other ways.” Retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno noted that Guerrero would also bring some geographical diversity to the court. The Imperial Valley, a poor rural area bordering Mexico and Arizona, is an often-forgotten part of the state. “With its extensive experience in handling complex court cases, its intellectual rigor and its commitment to justice and equality, Guerrero Justice is well equipped to navigate more complex legal issues in our judicial system and will be an excellent addition to the Supreme Court. of our state, “Moreno said. Guerrero will receive a salary of $ 274,000. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gov. Gavin Newsom will be sworn in as Patricia Guerrero as the first Latina judge in the California Supreme Court on Monday.

Guerrero was unanimously confirmed by the Judicial Appointments Commission last week, after being nominated for her role in court in February.

(Watch a live stream of Justice Guerrero’s swearing-in at 1:30 pm in the video that leads this story.)

Guerrero, 50, of San Diego, grew up in the agricultural Imperial Valley and has worked as a federal attorney, law firm associate, Supreme Court justice and member of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The seven-member California Supreme Court now consists of four Democrat-nominated judges and two Republican nominees.

Newsom has made diversity on the bench a priority. In 2020, he appointed the first openly gay judge, Martin Jenkins, who is the third black man to serve in court.

Guerrero said in a statement after her candidacy that it was a “great honor” to be elected and that if confirmed it would “have a positive impact on the lives of Californians across the state.”

“I did not get here alone,” Guerrero said in a video. “I stand on the shoulders of my parents and grandparents who came to this country for better opportunities for their children. I think it’s important for people to see that… they can achieve whatever they want with opportunities and hard work. ”

Guerrero’s grandfather came to the United States from the Mexican state of Sonora and obtained a residence permit through a sponsor, he said. When her father arrived, she initially worked picking crops. Her mother, who recently died of breast cancer, stressed the importance of reading and education and said there were no restrictions on what her children could achieve.

Guerrero worked in a grocery store as a teenager and was a high school classmate. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford Law School.

Newsom said Guerrero is well regarded with a “strong legal mindset” and a wide range of experiences. He has written views that protect the rights of consumers and individual rights, while supporting the constitutional rights of the accused.

Despite the growing influence of Latins, who make up the largest racial or ethnic group of California’s nearly 40 million people, no Latina has served in a constitutional office or senator in the United States, said Sonja Diaz, founding director of Latino Politics and Politics. of UCLA. Initiative.

Latinos sit on the highest courts in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New York and Texas, Diaz said.

“Latins make up about 20 percent of California’s population, but we are underrepresented in almost every sector, including the California judiciary,” said Sen. María Elena Durazo, president of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. “When Latinos are absent from this critical branch of government, our experiences and prospects are ruled out, and that fluctuates in our communities in many other ways.”

Retired California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno noted that Guerrero will also bring some geographical diversity to the court. The Imperial Valley, a poor rural area bordering Mexico and Arizona, is an often-forgotten part of the state.

“With its extensive experience in handling complex litigation, its intellectual rigor and its commitment to justice and equality, Justice Guerrero is well equipped to navigate the most complex legal issues in our judicial system and will be an excellent addition to the highest “Our state court,” Moreno said.

Guerrero will receive a salary of $ 274,000.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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