WASHINGTON, D.C., August 11, 2022 – California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced this week who will serve as the new Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court as well as who will fill the resulting vacancy. These historic selections, with a commitment to diversity, exemplify how to ensure trust in the nation’s courts.
Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero, nominated to serve as the next Chief Justice, is a first-generation Californian, was the first Latina to serve on the state’s highest court, and will be the first Latina to serve as its Chief Justice. As Newsom said in his announcement, she brings a “deep commitment to equal justice and public service,” demonstrated by her numerous opinions protecting the rights of California consumers and individuals.
Newsom also nominated Judge Kelli Evans, who currently serves on the Alameda County Superior Court, to serve as the next Associate Justice on the California Supreme Court. Prior to her time on the court, Evans dedicated her life to protecting the civil rights of California’s most vulnerable communities. As Newsom’s Chief Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary, she helped shape California’s moratorium on capital punishment, and she previously served as Associate Director of the ACLU of Northern California.
Alliance for Justice Legal Director for State Courts Jake Faleschini issued the following statement:
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority is abandoning protections for civil rights at the federal level at an alarming pace, increasing the importance of state courts to protect our way of life and most vulnerable communities. Governor Newsom is demonstrating how to respond to this moment, by ensuring that the judges and justices on our courts are exceptional lawyers who look like the people they serve and bring experience protecting real people and our most cherished human and civil rights. As the nation’s most populous state, California has a leading role to play in protecting access to abortion and so many other civil rights that are under attack. We applaud the governor’s nominations and encourage other states to similarly emphasize the importance of demographic and professional diversity on their own courts.”