In Historic Move for Transparency, Governor Newsom Opens Judicial Selection Advisory Committees to Identify Next Generation of California Judges

SACRAMENTO – In keeping with his commitment to increase transparency in government, Governor Gavin Newsom today made public eight Regional Judicial Selection Advisory Committees (JSACs). For the first time in California history, the individuals who provide important feedback on judicial candidates for nomination and appointment will be known to the public. The JSACs – comprised of attorneys and judges who live and work in the eight regions – will provide preliminary, non-partisan feedback on candidates and help promote a diverse and inclusive nomination process for California’s judiciary.

“Judges make decisions every day that affect every Californian,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “The people of our state have little insight on the process by which judges are chosen, it is only fair that the public knows who is helping to select the people who will serve them. I thank the new members of the Judicial Selection Advisory Committees for taking on this essential function of our democracy.”

The eight JSACs represent the Bay Area, Central Coast, Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Northern California, Orange and San Diego regions. Committee members will convene at the request of Judicial Appointments Secretary Justice Martin Jenkins (Ret.) to provide feedback on candidates’ legal acumen, work ethic, temperament and demonstrated commitment to public service. They will review all candidates before forwarding their names to the Governor for review.

The JSACs are comprised of attorneys and judges, selected by the Judicial Appointments Secretary, who are in good standing with the State Bar of California and are diverse with respect to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender, as well as substantive legal practice areas. In identifying potential committee members, the Judicial Appointments Secretary considered suggestions from members of California state and local bar organizations and California affinity bar organizations including, but not limited to: the California Women Lawyers; Mexican American Bar Association; California Asian Pacific American Bar Association; and the California Association of Black Lawyers. The Secretary also considered suggestions from several judges associations, such as the California Latino Judges Association; California Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Judges Association; the Judicial Council of the California Association of Black Lawyers; and the Association of African American California Judicial Officers.

All feedback from the JSACs is advisory in nature only, and will be considered by the Governor’s Office in combination with evaluations provided by the State Bar of California and county and affinity bar associations.

Interested candidates should not contact JSAC members directly, but can apply for a judicial appointment in the administration here. All other inquiries should be directed to the Governor’s Press Office at 916-445-4571.

A complete list of committee members, by region, can be found here.