A state commission Monday unanimously confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointment of Leondra R. Kruger, a federal government lawyer, to the California
Kruger, a Department of Justice lawyer who has argued 12 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, will be the second African American woman to serve on California's high court.
Like Brown's two other recent high court appointees, Goodwin Liu and Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Kruger has a sterling Ivy League resume but no judicial experience.
Kruger told the state Commission on Judicial Appointments that she was both "humbled" and "honored" by her appointment. Although she has never practiced law in California, she said she has always considered the state her home, and has been exposed to a wide variety of legal principles in her career.
She said she was happy "to have the opportunity to come back home."
Kruger grew up in Southern California. At 38, she will be one of the youngest justices in modern California history.
A state bar evaluating committee gave Kruger its highest rating. She will be sworn in on Jan. 5, bringing to three the number of Democratic appointees on the seven-member court.