California’s Judicial Diversity

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

California’s judiciary has increased its racial and gender diversity since 2006, although Hispanics and women remain underrepresented compared to their share of the general population in the state. An annual report on judicial diversity in California shows African-American judges are 6 percent of the state’s 1,656 jurists, roughly the same as their share of California’s overall population.

Hispanics, however, are 38 percent of California’s population, but represent just over 8 percent of the judiciary. Still, that share is up from 6 percent in 2006, according to the demographic report.

And while women are a majority of the California Supreme Court, (4-3 majority), they are 31 percent of the judiciary statewide, up from 27 percent in 2006. But women are 50 percent of the state’s population, according to the latest U.S. Census data for California.

The report shows Asians are nearly 6 percent of the judiciary, compared to 4.4 percent in 2006. Their share of the California population overall is nearly 14 percent.

The judiciary remains heavily white, at 71.4 percent, up from 70 percent in 2006, but below their 74 percent share of the state population.

The report is mandated by the state Legislature. The changes represent new appointments, judicial retirement and other departures from the bench, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

There are 101 African-American judges in the state, 96 trial judges and five on the courts of appeal. There are no African-Americans on the state Supreme Court.

There are 138 Hispanic judges, 133 on the trial bench and five on the courts of appeal. There are no Hispanics on the state Supreme Court.

There are 96 Asians on the state courts, 91 trial judges, three appeals court justices and two on the state Supreme Court.

Whites represent 1,183 members of the judiciary, 1,101 trial judges, 79 appellate justices and three on the state Supreme Court. (The two remaining members of the state’s high court report being of more than one race.)

Diversity report

US Census Data on California


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