The first openly transgender person has just been appointed to the bench in the state of California.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Andi Murdyk will serve as a judge on the Sacramento County Superior Court after being appointed by Gavin Newsom to fill a vacancy left on the bench by a retiring judge.
Murdyk said, “I’m humbled, honored and I’m thrilled. I’m grateful to Gov. Newsom for creating a vision of California for all.”
Murdyk — a biological male — has lived in Sacramento since 2009.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Murdyk “pledged to use her experiences to ensure that everyone who appears before her is welcome in the court system.”
Murdyk said that his experiences as a transgender woman (a man who identifies as a woman), a person with a significant disability, the parent of an adult black man, and the descendant of Jewish Holocaust survivors “spurred a legal career spent advocating for the civil rights of all people.”
The transgender judge was born with osteogenesis, commonly known as “brittle bone disease,’ which has caused him more 100 fractures throughout his life.
Murdyk, who transitioned in the last four years, said that he is proud of his gender identity and that he has been accepted and promoted as part of the Newsom administration.
Murdyk has considerable experience in private practice having worked over a decade with Disability Rights California, where he worked as the group's managing attorney, director of litigation, and deputy director.
In 2018, Murdyk joined the California Department of Rehabilitation, becoming its chief counsel until 2020.
Murdyk earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School in 1989.
The transgender attorney’s appointment to the bench earned praise from legal and leftwing activist communities.
Leah Wilson, the executive director of the State Bar of California, said, “The values of diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to the State Bar's mission, and I thank our Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation for their important work, and I applaud Gov. Newsom on his commitment to a diverse judiciary.”
Wilson continued, “Superior Court Judge Andi Mudryk's appointment is a touchstone moment in California history that will lead to more opportunities for transgender people throughout the legal profession.”
Equity California, the country’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization celebrated Murdyk as the second openly transgender judge in California.
Tony Hoang, the group's director, said, “A seasoned civil rights advocate, Mudryk brings almost 20 years of experience in disability rights and rehabilitation to the court. As governors and state legislatures across the country attack the trans community, we applaud Gov. Newsom's continued commitment to increasing trans representation across appointments and on the bench.”