State Watch

Judge Patricia Guerrero becomes first Latina confirmed to California Supreme Court

Eric Risberg / Associated Press

Judge Patricia Guerrero was confirmed to the California Supreme Court on Tuesday, becoming the first Latina to serve on the court.

Following the 3-0 vote of the Commission on Judicial Appointments, Guerrero is set to be sworn in on Monday by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), according to NBC News

“As I’ve tried to express, this is not just about me, or really even just about my parents, but it’s about so many others just like us,” Guerrero, the child of Mexican immigrants, said, according to the outlet. “This is a story of the American dream, the belief that with hard work, perseverance and opportunities, anything is possible. And for that I am thankful.”

The 50-year-old justice, who previously served as a San Diego appeals court judge, is replacing Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who stepped down from the bench last year. Cuéllar left the court to serve as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, NBC reported.

“Justice Guerrero is phenomenal on multiple levels,” said Stella Ngai, chair of the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, according to the network . “She is universally lauded for her superior intellect, clear writing, judicial temperament, work ethic and compassion.”

Guerrero’s grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from the Mexican state of Sonora and obtained residency through a sponsor. Her father, Jorge Guerrero, picked crops and worked in feedlots after he first arrived in California. Her mother, who recently died from breast cancer, was a babysitter, NBC noted.

Guerrero is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford Law School. 

Her confirmation will add California to the list of states with Latina justices on their highest courts, which includes Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, New York and Texas, according to NBC.

Tags California State Court Gavin Newsom Patricia Guerrero

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