Mike Hagerty, CapRadio
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is making an historic choice to fill the latest vacancy on the state’s Supreme Court, appointing the first openly gay man and only the third Black man to serve on the state’s highest court.
Judge Martin Jenkins, 66, most recently served as Newsom’s judicial appointments secretary, but has a long history of state and federal judicial positions. Jenkins said his career “has not been easy.”
“But I want to say today to those young people who may be watching and those who may hear about what has transpired here, that I am not here in spite of the struggle,” Jenkins said. “I'm here because of the struggle.”
Jenkins is a native Californian whose mother was a nurse and whose father worked for 36 years as the janitor at San Francisco’s Coit Tower. After a brief career in pro football, Jenkins turned to the law, but says the identity that formed his character is that of a gay man.
He would replace Justice Ming W. Chin, who retired in August. His nomination must be confirmed by the three-person California Commission on Judicial Appointments.
“As someone who understands first-hand the role of a court in determining marriage equality to be a fundamental right, I can’t tell you how important it is to have someone on the bench who’s a living, breathing example of the idea that love means love,” Newsom said. “He hasn’t just learned the power of the law to protect our rights. Martin Jenkins has lived it.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom provided an update on COVID-19 and wildfires in the state. This originally broadcasted on October 5, 2020, at 12 p.m.
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