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Trans Judge Appointed in New York, Makes History

Trans Judge Appointed in New York, Makes History

Seth Marin

While transgender women have been seated as judges in the United States, the appointment is the first for a trans man.


The Democratic governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, announced 15 appointments to the New York State Court of Claims on Wednesday. Among them was a historic selection — the first openly transgender judge in the history of the state and the first trans man in the history of the United States to serve as a judge.

Hochul chose Seth Marin for one of the significant judgeships.

Marin is the director of training and education for affirmative action and equal opportunity programs at Columbia University.

“I have full faith that this historic and outstanding group of appointees will serve New Yorkers with fairness and impartiality,” Hochul said in a statement. “With diverse perspectives and extensive expertise, I’m confident that each appointee will bring honor and integrity to New York State’s judiciary.”

In the United States, no out transgender man has ever sat on a judicial bench. However, some transgender women have, including Andi Mudyrk and Victoria Kolakowski, in California.

Mudryk was appointed to the bench in 2022 as California’s first out transgender judge.

In 2010, Kolakowski became the first trans trial judge in American history after winning an election to the position with 51 percent of the vote.

Also in 2010, Houston mayor Annise Parker, who is an out lesbian, appointed Phyllis Frye to be an associate judge for the city’s municipal courts.

In 2020, Jill Rose Quinn won a judicial election to become Illinois’s first trans judge.

Formerly, Marin founded and was the principal of Workplace Strategies, which advised and guided non-profit organizations on legal matters. Marin served as Vice President for Civil Rights at the Anti-Defamation League. Previously, he was an employment discrimination attorney at Outten & Golden, LLP.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story omitted Phyllis Frye’s appointment to the bench in 2010.

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