Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Nearly 40 Percent of Brown Judicial Appointees Have Been Women, Annual Report Says
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Just under 40 percent of judges appointed by Jerry Brown since he returned to the governorship in 2011 have been women, his office reported yesterday.
From 2011 through 2016, Brown appointed 356 judges—including 45 last year—from a pool of more than 2,000 applicants. Women accounted for 36.7 percent of those applicants, and 38.2 percent of the appointees, according to the report, which notes that the California judiciary was 32.2 percent female as of Dec. 2014.
The report also cited State Bar statistics showing that 39.4 percent of California lawyers were women as of 2011.
The number of women applicants last year was 84, or 38.2 percent of the total, and 17 of those were appointed, representing 37.8 percent of the appointments for the year.
State law requires the governor, by March 1 of each year, to disclose aggregate statewide data regarding judicial appointments and applications. The law also requires the Administrative Office of the Courts to report data concerning the judiciary as a whole, and that report is due today.
Over the six years covered by the governor’s report, nearly 40 percent of Brown’s appointees identified themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Black or African-American; Hispanic; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; or Other/Unknown. Last year, Hispanic appointees accounted for more than one in five judicial appointments.
In a press release, the governor’s office cited a long list of “notable firsts,” including the recent appointment of Richard T. Fields, who was confirmed earlier this month as the first African-American man appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.
The list also included Marco D. Nunez and Yvette Durant, both appointed last Dec. 23. Nunez is the first openly gay judge of the Imperial Superior Court, and Durant is the first woman judge ever appointed to the Sierra Superior Court.
Brown’s earlier minority appointees included Court of Appeal Justices Marsha G. Slough, the first openly gay justice in the history of the Fourth District; Therese M. Stewart of the First District, the first openly lesbian justice; M. Bruce Smith, the first African-American to serve in the Fifth District; Luis A. Lavin, the first openly gay justice to serve in this district; Jim Humes of the First District, the state’s first openly gay justice; Miguel Marquez, the first Latino justice in the Sixth District, Rosendo Peña, the first Latino justice in the Fifth District; and Kathleen O’Leary of the Fourth District’s Div. Three, the first woman presiding justice in that division.
Brown also appointed Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Rupa Goswami, the state’s first South Asian-American woman judge, and Halim Dhanidina, the first Muslim judge ever appointed in California.
And he appointed the first Latino judges to the Yolo and Marin superior courts, the first Asian-American judge to the Ventura Superior Court, the first Hmong-American judge ever appointed in the country, the first Native American judge to the Riverside County Superior Court, the first South Asian-American judge in Northern California, the first female judge to the Del Norte Superior Court, the first openly lesbian judge to the Alameda Superior Court, and the first Latina judge to the Riverside County Superior Court, the release noted.
The release contained the following summary of the data:
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