First openly gay, third African American judge confirmed to California Supreme Court

California Connection

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTXL) — Justice Martin J. Jenkins has been confirmed as an associate justice in the Supreme Court of California.

The appointment was approved by a unanimous vote in the Supreme Court Courtroom in San Francisco.

report by the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation found Justice Jenkins “exceptionally well qualified” — the highest possible rating — for service on the California Supreme Court. 

“He is praised for his brilliant intellect, first-class temperament, and boundless humanity,” the report said.

Justice Martin Jenkins fills the retired Justice Ming Chin’s seat, which she vacated Aug. 31. He was nominated in Oct. by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Jenkins is the first openly gay California Supreme Court justice and the third African American man to serve on the state Supreme Court.

He was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1997, and served in the First District Court as an associated judge. Prior to that, Jenkins was a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court and the Oakland Municipal Court, as well as a trial attorney and prosecutor for many years.

Jenkins earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

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