Gov. Newsom announces California Supreme Court nominee Martin Jenkins

Gov. Newsom also gave an update on the coronavirus and wildfires burning in California during a noon press conference
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed his nominee for the California Supreme Court in a noon press conference Monday.

Newsom nominated Martin Jenkins, a son of a Coit Tower janitor and former NFL player who decided "there might be more career longevity on the field of law," the governor joked.

Jenkins has a long history in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was born in San Francisco and attended San Francisco City College, went to Santa Clara University, went to law school at the University of San Francisco, and worked in the Alameda County district attorney's office.

Jenkins would be the third Black man on the state Supreme Court and the first openly gay man to fill the role, Newsom said.

"I can't imagine that my parents could have imagined that I would stand in this place today, or that they could see that I would be a nominee to the California Supreme Court," Jenkins said.

"Anyone who knows me knows my identity as a gay man has perhaps been the greatest challenge of my life," Jenkins said. "I'm here because of the struggle. It has deepened my character, afforded me sensibilities about the world, and about people who are not so willing to accept that people can love differently than they do."

Newsom also gave an update on the state's coronavirus pandemic. There were 3,055 new cases of COVID-19 in California on Sunday, with a 7-day positivity rate of 2.8%.

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Newsom warned that while our case rate has been stable in California, that could change. Twenty-one states around the country are seeing another uptick in COVID-19 cases.

"Let us maintain our vigilance, let us not take down our guard, let us continue to take very seriously this pandemic and this disease," Newsom said.

Last week, 11 California counties were moved to a less restrictive tier. Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara and Yolo counties were all moved from "purple" to "red." Amador, Calaveras, San Francisco and Sierra counties were moved from "red" to "orange."

More counties are likely to change tiers on Tuesday.

Newsom also addressed the wildfires burning in the state. The governor was in Napa County last week to view the damage from the Glass Fire firsthand.

The wildfire continues to grow in Napa and Sonoma Counties. It has burned close to 65,580 acres. As of Monday, the fires was 30% contained.

He promised to seek a long-term solution to California's wildfire problem once immediate fire suppression was complete.


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ABC7 News' Jocelyn Fiset contributed to this report.
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