Five appellate justices joined state legislators this week in marking the 50th anniversary of the first African American appointed to a California court of appeal.
Gov. Edmund “Pat” Brown named Los Angeles Judge Edwin Jefferson to the Second District appellate bench on Oct. 1, 1961, an event recognized by two pending legislative resolutions, SCR 38 and ACR 47. Jefferson’s family as well as the five current and former appellate justices attended Assembly and Senate ceremonies on Monday to celebrate the anniversary. Notably absent was First District Justice Martin Jenkins, a rumored candidate to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy.
Fourteen African American jurists, including six currently, have served on California’s appellate courts. Three were appointed to the state Supreme Court.
The Legislative Black Caucus has set up an exhibit featuring photos and short biographies of those 14 justices on the state Capitol’s second-floor rotunda. The exhibit runs through May 6.