First Latina justice confirmed to California Supreme Court

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Judge Patricia Guerrero headshot

Judge Patricia Guerrero will become the first Latina justice of the California Supreme Court. Photo from the Judicial Council of California.

Judge Patricia Guerrero will become the first Latina justice of the California Supreme Court following her confirmation by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments earlier this week.

In recent years, Guerrero has served as a state appeals court judge in San Diego and previously worked as a San Diego superior court judge. The Stanford Law School graduate is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and grew up in Southern California’s Imperial Valley.

“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 said during her confirmation hearing Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. “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.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who nominated Guerrero for the state supreme court, is scheduled to swear her into her new role next week, the AP reports.

Guerrero, who also worked at Latham & Watkins, was rated as exceptionally well qualified by the State Bar of California’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.

“Justice Guerrero is phenomenal on multiple levels,” said Stella Ngai, chair of the commission, according to the AP. “She is universally lauded for her superior intellect, clear writing, judicial temperament, work ethic and compassion.”

Guerrero will fill the vacancy on the state supreme court left by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who stepped down from his post last year to become president of the Carnegie Endowment.

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