Patricia Guerrero Becomes First Latina Nominated to California Supreme Court

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Photo courtesy of Rob Andrew/Courtesy of the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal.

Patricia Guerrero, a judge on California’s 4th District Court of Appeal, has been nominated to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court, state Governor Gavin Newsom announced.

If confirmed, Guerrero would be the first Latina to serve on the California Supreme Court, NBC News explained.

Patricia Guerrero was born in the Imperial Valley and graduated from Imperial High School in 1990. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994, graduating magna cum laude, and received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1997.

Guerrero was a partner at Latham and Watkins LLP from 2007 to 2013, where she was an associate from 2003 to 2006 and from 1997 to 2002. Judge Guerrero also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California, from 2002 to 2003.

She was subsequently appointed to the Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, on November 2, 2017, and took office upon confirmation on December 14, 2017. Before her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Guerrero served as a judge of the San Diego Superior Court. She was appointed in June 2013 and where she served as supervising judge of the family law division.

Today, Patricia Guerrero, 50, is considered a well-respected jurist with extensive experience as an appellate judge, trial judge, partner at a major law firm, and assistant U.S. attorney, according to Newsom’s office.

“A keen legal mind and well-regarded jurist, Justice Guerrero’s wide-ranging experience, integrity, deep respect for the rule of law, and lifelong commitment to public service make her a phenomenal candidate to serve as our next California Supreme Court Justice,” said Governor Newsom. “Born and raised in the Imperial Valley by immigrant parents from Mexico, her extraordinary journey and nomination to serve as the first Latina Justice on the bench of our state’s highest court is an inspiration to all of us and a testament to the California Dream’s promise of opportunity for all to thrive, regardless of background or zip code.”

Justice Guerrero would replace Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who left the bench effective October 31, 2021.

“I am deeply honored by this incredible opportunity to uphold the rule of law and make a positive impact on the lives of Californians across the state,” Guerrero said in a statement. “I look forward to helping instill confidence in the equality and integrity of our judicial system while honoring the sacrifices of my immigrant parents and demonstrating to young people that anything is possible in our wonderful and diverse country.”