California has appointed the first openly transgender judge, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday.
Judge Andi Mudryk, 58, will serve on the Sacramento County Superior Court, one of eight new appointees to the bench, the L.A. Times reported.
"I'm humbled, honored, and I'm thrilled," Mudryk told the Times. "I'm grateful to Gov. Newsom for creating a vision of California for all."
Mudryk expressed pride as a trailblazer transgender woman, a person with a disability (osteogenesis imperfecta, aka brittle bone disease), a parent of an adult Black man, and a descendant of Jewish Holocaust survivors, according to the report.
Mudryk transitioned in the past four years and has maintained a career devoted to disability rights after a law degree from George Washington University in 1989.
"The values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to the State Bar's mission, and I thank our Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation for their important work, and I applaud Gov. Newsom on his commitment to a diverse judiciary," Leah Wilson, executive director of the State Bar of California, wrote in a statement, according to the Times. "Superior Court Judge Andi Mudryk's appointment is a touchstone moment in California history that will lead to more opportunities for transgender people throughout the legal profession."
While Mudryk is the first transgender judge to be appointed, Victoria Kolakowski was elected Alameda County Superior Court in November 2010, according to the report.
"Andi Mudryk is a great appointment and will be a wonderful judge," Kolakowski tweeted Friday. "I'm glad to finally have a trans colleague on the bench in California."
Equality California executive director Tony Hoang hailed Mudryk's appointment.
"A seasoned civil rights advocate, Mudryk brings almost 20 years of experience in disability rights and rehabilitation to the court," Hoang wrote to the Times. "As governors and state legislatures across the country attack the trans community, we applaud Gov. Newsom's continued commitment to increasing trans representation across appointments and on the bench."
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