Governor Newsom swears in Justice Patricia Guerrero to California Supreme Court, the first Latina to serve on State’s highest court

March 31, 2022 /

Justice Patricia Guerrero was sworn into the California Supreme Court on Monday by Governor Gave Newsom.

Guerrero is the first Latina Justice to serve on the bench of our state’s highest court. A highly regarded jurist, Justice Guerrero’s nomination to the court was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments last week.

Raised in the Imperial Valley by immigrant parents from Mexico, Justice Guerrero has served as an Associate Justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One since 2017 and has wide-ranging experience as a trial court judge, partner at a major law firm and Assistant U.S. Attorney.

“I’m incredibly honored to take the bench on our state’s Supreme Court, and I thank everyone who has made this day possible,” said Justice Guerrero. “I am here because of the courage, sacrifices and dedication of my parents and my grandparents who, like so many others, came to this country with the hope of a brighter future for their children. I hope that my journey encourages the next generation of leaders to pursue their dreams, and I look forward to taking on this opportunity to uphold the rule of law and work to ensure equal justice under the law for every Californian.”

“This is a proud day for all Californians,” said Newsom. “A first-generation Californian and daughter of the Imperial Valley, Justice Guerrero’s extraordinary ascent to serve as the first Latina justice on our state’s highest court is not only an incredible personal achievement, it is an inspiring example of California’s enduring promise that any dream is possible, no matter who you are or where you come from. Justice Guerrero’s brilliance, integrity, work ethic and rich insights will make an invaluable contribution to the court. I’m confident that Justice Guerrero will continue her life’s work to uphold our fundamental rights and freedoms and advance equal justice and opportunity for all Californians.”

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

As an appellate justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Justice Guerrero authored numerous opinions to protect the rights of consumers and individuals, while also ensuring that defendants’ constitutional rights are protected and that all parties, including the government, are treated fairly and consistent with the rule of law. She served as a Judge at the San Diego County Superior Court from 2013 to 2017 and was Supervising Judge for the Family Law Division at the Court in 2017. Justice Guerrero was hired as an Associate at Latham & Watkins and became a Partner in 2006. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California from 2002 to 2003.

Justice Guerrero has contributed many hours of pro bono work, including as a member of the Advisory Board of the Immigration Justice Project, to promote due process and access to justice at all levels of the immigration and appellate court system. She has assisted clients on a pro bono basis in immigration matters, including asylum applications and protecting vulnerable families by litigating compliance with fair housing laws. The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court named her to the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of the California Bar Exam and Justice Guerrero has been active in the Chief’s “Judges in the Classroom” civics program