Jim Humes Becomes First Openly Gay Justice On California Court, Other Historic Appointments


Kathleen Miles is the executive editor of Noema Magazine. She can be reached on Twitter at @mileskathleen.

Jim Humes made history Wednesday by becoming the first openly gay justice to be appointed to serve on the California Court of Appeals.

Rosendo Peña also made history by being appointed as the first Latino justice on the Central Valley appellate court. Paula S. Rosenstein, who is openly lesbian, was also appointed to the San Diego County Superior Court.

The appointments were among at least a dozen that Governor Jerry Brown announced Wednesday.

It’s the first time the governor has appointed openly gay or lesbian people to court vacancies since returning to the governor’s office in 2011, according to the Bay Area Reporter. Brown did not previously disclose that any of his judicial appointments were members of the LGBT community.

San Francisco resident Jim Humes, 53, was appointed as an associate justice of the First District Court of Appeal, Division Four and will make $204,599.

Humes has served as Brown’s executive secretary for legal affairs, administration and policy since 2011 and also worked for Brown when he was attorney general.

Rosenstein, 52, was appointed as a judge to the San Diego County Superior Court and will earn $178,789 a year. A former co-president of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association in San Diego, Rosenstein specializes in working with domestic partners and employment legal issues.

Peña, 57, a Democrat on the Fresno Superior Court, was appointed as an associate justice on the state’s Fifth District Court of Appeal and will make $204,599 a year.