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California: Gov. Appoints Gay Judges To Bench

California: Gov. Appoints Gay Judges To Bench


Therese M. Stewart and James M. Humes are making history in California's judicial system.

The attorney who led San Francisco deputy city attorneys in intervening in the federal challenge of Proposition 8 was nominated to California's First District Court of Appeal.

Governor Jerry Brown announced that he would appoint Theresa M. Stewart to the post on Saturday, making her California's first openly lesbian appellate court justice.

Stewart has worked at the City Attorney's office since 2002. She argued on behalf of the City and County of San Francisco in the cases that eventually brought marriage equality to the state supreme court in 2008, and then was part of the team of municipal attorneys who intervened in the case to counter Proposition 8.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said he would be "lying if I didn't concede a degree of personal disappointment in knowing that she won't be standing by my side in the City Attorney's office anymore," according to LGBT Weekly.

The same day, Brown also appointed James M. Humes, as the presiding justice of First District Court of Appeals, division one. Humes has served as an associate justice of the of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four since 2012. He was executive secretary for legal affairs, administration and policy in the governor's office from 2011 to 2012 and chief deputy attorney general from 2007 to 2011.

Humes, a Democrat, is the first openly gay justice to serve on the California Court of Appeal.

Both positions require confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, with members Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, and Senior Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline.

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