ADDED ON: 10/06/2020

California governor nominates 1st gay to state Supreme Court

10/05/2020 | Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated the first openly gay Black man to the state Supreme Court on Monday, potentially replacing one of the court’s more conservative members with a former federal civil rights attorney who prosecuted cross-burnings and police misconduct cases under President Ronald Reagan. Martin Jenkins, 66, would be the court’s first gay member and the third Black person to serve on it, according to the governor’s office. In a news conference announcing the nomination, Jenkins said his identity as a gay man has been “perhaps the greatest challenge in my life.” “I want these young people to know that living a life of authenticity is the greatest gift you can give yourself. And if you do that, you will find yourself in a position where people see you,” Jenkins said. “Thank you, Governor Newsom, for seeing me.” Jenkins, a lifelong registered Democrat, must first be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments after a public hearing for the job that comes with a $261,949 annual salary. The commission consists of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Cakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the most senior presiding judge of the Court of Appeal. Newsom said Jenkins could be on the court next month. “He knows that despite what the declaration says, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not simply inalienable. They must be relentlessly protected and defended,” Newsom said.

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