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Newsom picks 1st Latina state Supreme Court chief justice

Patricia Guerrero has been on the state Supreme Court since March as an associate justice.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has nominated current state Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Guerrero as the next chief justice.

Guerrero, the court's first Latina judge, has been on the state Supreme Court since March as an associate justice. She would replace Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who will step down once her term ends in January.

"Justice Guerrero has established herself as a widely respected jurist with a formidable intellect and command of the law and deep commitment to equal justice and public service," Newsom said in a news release announcing Guerrero's nomination.

Guerrero’s nomination must first be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments and then by voters in the November general election.

“I am humbled by this nomination to lead our state's Supreme Court and thank the Governor for entrusting me with this honor,” Guerrero said in a news release.

If Guerrero is confirmed, Newsom said he plans to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to fill Guerrero’s spot on the Supreme Court.

Guerrero is a registered Democrat who would be paid a salary of $293,286.

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