On Oct. 5, California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed a new state Supreme Court justice, naming Martin Jenkins as the court's first openly gay, third Black man on the judicial panel, The Merced Sun-Star reported.
Jenkins, a Bay Area native, has decades of experience working in California's state and federal courts and criminal justice system. He retired as an associate justice of the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District last year, when he began working with Newsom's administration as the judicial appointments secretary with the goal to enhance diversity on the state's benches.
He will fill the vacancy left by Justice Ming W. Chin, who retired at the end of August after a 24-year tenure.
In a statement sent to Windy City Times, Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur said, "Governor Newsom's appointment of California's first openly gay supreme court justice is a monumental step forward for the LGBTQ+ community and for our entire state. Not only is Justice Jenkins exceptionally qualified and an outstanding choice for California's highest court, but he embodies the values of our great state. Governor Newsom is setting a national example as he works to ensure California's government reflects the diversity of the people they serve."