Inslee Appoints First Openly Gay Supreme Court Justice

May 1, 2014

The Washington Supreme Court will soon have its first openly gay justice. Governor Jay Inslee appointed King County Judge Mary Yu to replace retiring Justice Jim Johnson. Yu is also the first Asian-American and first Latina to serve as a Washington justice.

King County Judge Mary Yu will be the first openly gay justice on the Washington Supreme Court.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Inslee made his announcement inside the Supreme Court chambers.

“Judge Mary Yu to the Washington State Supreme Court,” Inslee said.

Inslee calls Yu the “right person for the right moment.” In her remarks, Yu anticipated critics who note she hails from Democratic King County.

“And while I am from King County, I want each of you to know I am truly and earnestly committed to serving all the people of the state of Washington,” Yu said.

Yu replaces Justice Jim Johnson who was viewed as the lone conservative on the court. He attended the announcement, but questioned Inslee’s choice.

“I retain my concern that this court still is not balanced and does not represent all the people of the state,” Johnson said.

Yu’s appointment lasts until the end of the year. Washington voters will decide this fall whether to elect her to finish out the remaining two years of Johnson’s six-year term.

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