SAN FRANCISCO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, chair of the Commission on Judicial Appointments, announced that the commission today confirmed Justice Patricia Guerrero as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California.
The appointment was approved by a unanimous vote in the Supreme Court Courtroom in San Francisco. Justice Guerrero is scheduled to be sworn in by Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 28.
A report by the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation found Justice Guerrero "exceptionally well qualified" for the state's high court, "universally lauded for her superior intellect, clear writing, judicial temperament, work ethic, and compassion."
In the courtroom for the hearing were Justice Guerrero's father Jorge, sister Claudia, husband Joe, and oldest son Anthony, 15 (her youngest son Christopher, 14, was watching remotely). In total, about two dozen family members and friends, including some who grew up with Justice Guerrero in the Imperial Valley, attended the hearing.
Justice Guerrero replaces Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who left the bench effective October 31, 2021.
Justice Guerrero has served as an associate justice at the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One since 2017.
A native of the Imperial Valley raised by immigrant parents from Mexico, Justice Guerrero began working in a grocery store at the age of 16 and graduated as co-valedictorian in high school. She continued working to help pay for her education while attending the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford Law School, where she earned a Juris Doctor degree. Justice Guerrero was active in the Latino Law Students Association and helped fellow students at the recruitment and retention center.
Prior to her appointment to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Justice Guerrero 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. California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye 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.