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Office of the Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: Governor's Press Office

Thursday, January 3, 2019 (916) 445-4571

Governor Brown Swears In Justice Groban to California Supreme Court, Releases Judicial Appointment Data

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. swore in Justice Joshua Groban to the California Supreme Court today in Sacramento, at a ceremony joined by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and other judicial and state officials.

 

"I see the great work of the Court, of taking the utter complexity and making it as clear, as simple and as just as humanly possible. It’s a high calling, and Josh, I think you’re eminently equipped," said Governor Brown at today's ceremony.

 


 Governor Brown delivers remarks at swearing-in ceremony.

 

Governor Brown swears in Justice Groban.

 

Governor Brown with Justice Groban and family.

 

Justice Groban’s nomination to the court was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments on December 21, 2018. As senior advisor to the Governor, Groban, 45, of Los Angeles, oversaw the appointment of 644 judges throughout the state since 2011. These appointments have been lauded as the most diverse in the state’s history.

 

Groban also advised the Governor in high-profile litigation and policy issues involving education, the judiciary, criminal justice, national security and constitutional interpretation. He was legal counsel for the Jerry Brown for Governor Campaign in 2010 and an attorney at Munger, Tolles and Olson LLP from 2005 to 2010 and at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP from 1999 to 2005. Groban served as a law clerk for the Honorable William C. Conner at the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York from 1998 to 1999. He has been a lecturer in state appellate practice at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law since 2015. Groban earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School, where he graduated cum laude and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, where he graduated with honors and distinction.

 

Governor Brown today also released the final applicant and appointee data for the administration's judicial appointments. Since taking office in 2011, Governor Brown has appointed 644 judges, including 193 from 2018 to January 2, 2019.

 

Last year, women accounted for more than half of Governor Brown’s judicial appointees and nearly 6 percent of all appointees identified themselves as LGBT. Forty-one percent of all appointees identified themselves as non-white or other/unknown.  

 

Over the last eight years, 44 percent of all judicial appointees were women and nearly 6 percent identified themselves as LGBT. Nearly 40 percent of all the Governor’s judicial appointees identified themselves as non-white or other/unknown.  

 

The Governor's judicial appointees have included a number of notable firsts:

 

-Jim Humes, the first openly gay justice ever appointed to the California Court of Appeal;

-Kathleen O'Leary, the first woman presiding justice ever appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division Three;

-Rupa Goswami, the first South Asian American woman judge ever appointed in California;

-Paul Lo, the first Hmong American judge ever appointed in the country;

-Halim Dhanidina, the first Muslim justice and the first South Asian American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal. Justice Dhanidina was also the first Muslim judge ever appointed in California;

-Joginder Dhillon, the first Sikh judge ever appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court;

-Richard T. Fields, the first African-American man appointed to the Fourth District Court of Appeal;

-Gabriel P. Sanchez, the first male Latino justice ever appointed to the First District Court of Appeal;

-Monique S. Langhorne, the first African-American judge ever appointed to the Napa County Superior Court;

-Amarra A. Lee, the first African-American woman judge ever appointed to the San Mateo County Superior Court;

-Therese M. Stewart, the first openly lesbian justice ever appointed to the California Court of Appeal; 

-Audra Ibarra, the first Filipino-American ever appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court and the first Filipino-American woman to serve as a superior court judge in the Bay Area;

-Carin T. Fujisaki, the first Asian-Pacific Islander woman justice ever appointed to the First District Court of Appeal;

-Alicia R. Ekland, the first woman judge ever appointed to the Glenn County Superior Court;

-Gregory A. Pulskamp, the first Muslim judge ever appointed to the Kern County Superior Court;

-Firdaus F. Dordi, the first Zoroastrian judge ever appointed in California;

-Michael W. Jones, the first Latino judge ever appointed to the Placer County Superior Court;

-Jesus A. Rodriguez, the first male Latino judge ever appointed to the Butte County Superior Court;

-Ruth Bermudez Montenegro, the first Latina judge ever appointed to the Imperial County Superior Court;

-Elia M. Ortiz, the first Latina judge ever appointed to the Napa County Superior Court;

-Yvette Durant, the first woman judge ever appointed to the Sierra County Superior Court;

-Nahal Iravani-Sani, the first Iranian-American judge ever appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court;

-Eumi K. Lee, the first Korean-American judge ever appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court;

-Roger C. Chan, the first Korean-American judge ever appointed to the San Francisco County Superior Court;

-Sonny S. Sandhu, the first Asian-Pacific Islander judge ever appointed to the Stanislaus County Superior Court;

-Dorothy C. Kim, the first Korean American justice in the history of the California Courts of Appeal;

-Vedica Puri, the first South Asian American judge ever appointed to the San Francisco County Superior Court;

-Shama H. Mesiwala, the first South Asian American judge ever appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court;

-Somnath Raj Chatterjee, the first South Asian American judge ever appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court;

-Benjamin T. Reyes, the first Filipino-American judge ever appointed to the Contra Costa County Superior Court;

-Godofredo (O.G.) Magno, the first Filipino-American judge ever appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court;

-Winston S. Keh, the first Filipino-American judge ever appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court;

-Todd D. Irby, the first African-American judge ever appointed to the Placer County Superior Court;

-Gloria J. Cannon, the first African-American judge ever appointed to the Kern County Superior Court;

-Marco D. Nunez, the first openly gay judge ever appointed to the Imperial County Superior Court;

-Sonia Cortés, the first Latino judge ever appointed to the Yolo County Superior Court;

-Marsha G. Slough, the first openly gay justice in the history of the Fourth District Court of Appeal;

-Luis A. Lavin, the first openly gay justice ever appointed to the Second District Court of Appeal;

-Ferdinand P. Inumerable, the first Asian-Pacific Islander judge ever appointed to the Ventura County Superior Court;

-Von T. Nguyen Deroian, the first Asian-Pacific Islander judge ever appointed to the Santa Barbara County Superior Court;

-Lily L. Sinfield the first Asian-Pacific Islander woman judge ever appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court;

-Susanne S. Cho, the first Asian-Pacific Islander woman judge ever appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court;

-Truc T. Do, the first Vietnamese-American judge ever appointed to the San Diego County Superior Court;

M. Bruce Smith, the first African-American justice ever appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal;

-Sunshine Sykes, the first Native American judge ever appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court;

-Sunil Kulkarni, the first South Asian American judge ever appointed in Northern California;

-Miguel Marquez, the first Latino justice ever appointed to the Sixth District Court of Appeal;

-Rosendo Peña, the first Latino justice ever appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal;

-Chris Doehle, the first woman judge ever appointed to the Del Norte County Superior Court;

-Kimberly Colwell, the first openly lesbian judge ever appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court; 

-Mark Andrew Talamantes, the first Latino judge ever appointed to the Marin County Superior Court; and

-Raquel Marquez, the first Latina judge ever appointed to the Riverside County Superior Court.

 

Under SB 56 and SB 182, the Governor is required to disclose aggregate statewide demographic data provided by all judicial applicants by March 1.

 

 

NOTE: The above data for 2018 and cumulative appointees includes appointments made through January 2, 2019.

 

*Under SB 182, signed in 2011 and effective January 1, 2012, the administration’s judicial application was modified to include a question that asks each judicial applicant to provide demographic data concerning gender identity and sexual orientation. Because a response to this question is voluntary and because all applications received prior to January 1, 2012 did not include this question, the cumulative report does not incorporate this demographic data for 2011 applicants or for appointees who submitted applications in 2011 and were appointed in subsequent years.

 

**Under AB 1005, signed in 2013 and effective January 1, 2014, the administration’s judicial application was modified to include questions that ask each judicial applicant to provide demographic data concerning disability and veteran status. Because a response to these questions is voluntary and because all applications received prior to January 1, 2014 did not include these questions, the cumulative report does not incorporate this demographic data for 2011-13 applicants or for appointees who submitted applications between 2011 and 2013 and were appointed in subsequent years. In addition, though not counted as “veterans” for purposes of the statistical data above, several judicial appointees were on “active reserve status” at the time of their appointment. Finally, some applicants who applied between 2011 and 2014 have subsequently supplemented their applications to show that they are veterans or persons with disabilities. The cumulative data above showing the number of appointees and applicants who identify as veterans or people with disabilities has therefore been updated to include these supplemental responses.

 

***Judicial Branch demographic data: In response to the expansion of the mandate for the collection of demographic information from new judges and justices, the sitting judges and justices data collected by the Judicial Council of California on veteran and disability status include responses from those new to the bench in calendar years 2014 through 2017, as well as experienced judges and justices that chose to update their demographic information during the same period.  

 

In addition, the gender identity and sexual orientation data collected for sitting judges and justices include responses from those new to the bench in calendar years 2012 through 2017, as well as experienced judges and justices that chose to update their demographic information during this same period. Thus, the data provided for these categories reflect only a subset of all sitting judges and therefore may not be reflective of the demographics of the entire judiciary. 

 

Judge and Justice demographic data is collected by the Judicial Council of California and State Bar membership data is collected by the California State Bar, based on voluntary survey results. A more detailed breakdown of the demographic data collected by the Judicial Council and the State Bar can be found here and here.

 

Photo Credit: Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol. For high resolution copies of these photos, please contact Danella Debel, Office of the Governor at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov. 

 

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Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814


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