California Governor Gavin Newsom has nominated Judge Martin Jenkins to the state's Supreme Court. If confirmed, Jenkins would become the first openly gay Black man to serve on the California Supreme Court.
"Justice Jenkins is widely respected among lawyers and jurists, active in his Oakland community and his faith, and is a decent man to his core," Newsom said.
"As a critical member of my senior leadership team, I've seen firsthand that Justice Jenkins possesses brilliance and humility in equal measure. The people of California could not ask for a better jurist or kinder person to take on this important responsibility."
Jenkins took an unusual path to the world of law. Prior to attending law school at the University of San Francisco, Martin Jenkins played cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. After ending his playing career and attending law school, he went on to become a judge for the Oakland Municipal Court and Alameda County Superior Court. In 1997, former President Bill Clinton appointed Jenkins to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Eleven years later, he was appointed to the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District.
"I want to say today to those young people who may be watching and those who may hear about what has transpired here, I am not here in spite of the struggle, I'm here because of the struggle," Jenkins said.
If confirmed, Jenkins will replace the recently retired Associate Justice Ming W. Chin.
I am truly humbled and honored to be asked by the Governor to continue serving the people of California on the Supreme Court," he stated.
"If confirmed, I will serve with the highest ethical standards that have guided me throughout my career, informed by the law and what I understand to be fair and just."
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