Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar joined the California Supreme Court at a time when the electorate favored harsh punishment for offenders, domestic partnerships for gays were novel and conservatives dominated the state’s highest court.
Twenty-three years later, as Werdegar prepares to retire, all of that has changed.
California voters have scaled back tough crime laws, gays may now marry, and for the first time in decades, the state’s highest court will have a majority of Democratic appointees. A married gay man may be one of them.
Werdegar, a moderate appointed by former Gov. Pete Wilson, played a role in each of the changes.
The senior justice announced...