June 2022 President's Letter

Written by National Association of Women Judges|June 01, 2022|Monthly Update Archive

judge-e.-white.pngThis month has seen more women appointed to the bench! Judge Mary Murguia was appointed Chief of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sherilyn Peace Garnett and Judge Sunshine Suzanne Sykes were both appointed as District Judges of the Central District of California. Judge Lisa Holder White became the first black woman Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Judge Trina Thompson was appointed District Judge of the Northern District of California. 

We have two important webinars in June. On June 20, NAWJ features “A Bad Name for a Terrific Idea: How Judges Can Benefit from a Renamed Special Master Profession”. This webinar will give you a better understanding of what Special Masters are and the efforts to change the name to reflect the services they provide and how the efforts to rename and improve the profession help promote judicial diversity and opportunities for retiring judges. On June 22, “Emerging Issues in Neuroscience for Judges” offers experts who will provide up-to[date science backed insights useful to courts in evaluating offenses related to addiction or violence.

Several of our members have been honored. Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris received the A. Leon Higginbotham Award for her work upholding democracy through leadership in the fight for racial justice. Our President Elect Judge Toni Clarke was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an article “How Penn State’s women’s basketball’s Toni Clarke became a trailblazer on and off the court.” Judge Anita Josey-Herring was recognized as the 2022 WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year at the WBA Foundation Annual Dinner in May. Col. Kristen Brunson, US Army, Retired, was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the Military Justice Review Panel for an 8-year term to conduct independent periodic review s and assessments of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Judge Maria Puente-Porras was named Judicial Officer of the Year by the Los Angeles Southeast District Bar Association. Ms. Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor was recognized by Claremont Neighborhood Center, Community leaders and elected officials at their “Men and Women Who Rock our Community Event” for her COVID relief and civic literacy efforts.

Despite extensive efforts by the Domestic Violence Committee and other concerned NAWJ members, ALI did not vote at their annual meeting to adopt our proposed definition of consent to be included in the Model Penal Code. Judge Mary Schroeder spoke in favor as did Janet Napolitano who pointed out that the ALI’s definition ignores the years of development of the law that was recognized in the campus sexual misconduct project. We were joined in our opposition by the Department of Justice and the National Association of Attorneys General. At least we were in good company!

Registration is now open for the annual conference in Detroit to be held October 19-22. The planning is well underway. I have enjoyed dropping into Zooms where the educational components are being put together, entertainment is being planned and money is being raised. It promises to be an amazing time.  The theme is “All Rise: Standing Up for Global Justice in the City that Moved the World.” 

We are working on collaborations, grants and other exciting opportunities so stay tuned!

As always, I love hearing your ideas and getting your input.

Hon. Elizabeth A. White (ret.)
President, NAWJ

Connect With Us

Facebook Twitter