Importance of Diversity in the Legal System per Bill Lockyer

Former California Attorney General, Bill Lockyer worked with Gov. Gavin Newsom to encourage diversity in the state’s highest court. In October 2020, Justice Marty Jenkins became the first openly gay nominee to the California Supreme Court. Jenkins, who came out of retirement for the appointment, held several appointments at the state and federal level. He is the third African-American judge appointed to the court.

Bill Lockyer Celebrates Jenkins Ambition and Drive

Bill Lockyer applauded Jenkins’ ambition. The son of a janitor and clerk at Coit Tower, Jenkins first won the spotlight as a football star for Santa Clara University. He later joined the Seattle Seahawks as a cornerback. His law career began when he attended the University of San Francisco’s law school.

Upon graduation, Jenkins became a district attorney for Alameda County, where he served as a law clerk. A natural leader, Jenkins went on to serve as a prosecutor until his first judicial appointment. His career included time in both federal and appellate courts. Bill Lockyer feels that Jenkins’ diverse career and determination make him an excellent choice to serve on the California Supreme Court. Jenkins is an inspiration for both African American and gay residents of the state. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and finding one with Jenkins’ integrity and success is rare indeed, according to Bill Lockyer.

Bill Lockyer said that he wanted to see Jenkins in the role years before when Gray Davis was governor and Lockyer served as his attorney general. In short, Jenkins wasn’t yet ready to answer the call and responsibility that comes with the job of a California Supreme Court justice. Apparently, Jenkins is now more than ready to face the challenges ahead.

Jenkins Newspaper Route

Bill Lockyer was deeply touched by one of the reasons Jenkins wasn’t ready. He had an important newspaper route to look after. Apparently, a young boy in Jenkins’ neighborhood had the local delivery route. Sometimes, the boy wasn’t able to deliver the paper due to medical issues. Marty Jenkins took on the role of filling in when the real newspaper boy was sick. He didn’t seem to mind the second billing.

“That’s the kind of guy he is,” Bill Lockyer said.

However, Jenkins has now answered the call, which Lockyer couldn’t be happier about. In an inspiring end to a great San Francisco story, Jenkins will now serve on the state Supreme Court. Bill Lockyer thinks the timing is perfect.


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