California Confirms First Openly Gay Black Man To Supreme Court

Confirmation hearing for Martin Jenkins to Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. (Photo: Jason Doiy)

California Confirms First Openly Gay Black Man To Supreme Court

Martin J. Jenkins, 66, was confirmed Tuesday.

Published November 14th

Written by BET Staff

The cloistered halls of the California Supreme Court became a little more diverse this week when the first openly gay Black man was confirmed as a justice.

Martin J. Jenkins, 66, a Democrat, was confirmed Tuesday (Nov. 10) as an Associate Justice to the California Supreme Court, becoming the third Black man ever to serve on the state's highest court, according to a news release from the California Courts.

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"He is praised for his brilliant intellect, first-class temperament and boundless humanity," according to a report from the state's Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.  

He is the first African-American man to serve on the state's Supreme Court in 29 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office notes in a statement. Newsom nominated Jenkins in October to replace Justice Ming Chin, who retired in August, the report says.

Photo: California Courts

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