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FACT SHEET Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics SB 182 (Corbett)

Questions: The Judicial Applicant and Appointment Demographics Inclusion Act would add gender identity and sexual orientation questions to the annual Judicial Applicant Data Report by amending the Government Code relating to the courts. AUTHOR: Senator Ellen Corbett SPONSOR: Equality California PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED LAW In 2007 the California State Bar, Governors Office, and the Judicial Council began issuing reports on the diversity of the judicial applicant pool and of the existing judiciary. Currently the demographic data provided by judicial applicants is voluntarily collected and is limited to ethnicity, race, and gender. Adding gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of demographic data collected is essential in creating a more diverse judiciary. BACKGROUND The California Judiciary suffers from a substantial lack of diversity. In 2009 women represented just 34 percent of applicants and only 28 percent of the total number of judges appointed by the Governor. 1 The Administrative Office of the Courts reported that as of December 2009 the judiciary was composed of 5% Asian and Pacific Islanders, 5.4% Black/African Americans, 7.5% Latinos, 73.6% Whites, 3.7% of more than one race, while 3.7% persons did not disclose their race/ethnicity. Because these reports do not consider gender identity or sexual orientation there is currently no way of knowing how the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is being represented in the judiciary. While LGBT people represent a sizable and important part of the state, their representation in the judicial branch of government is virtually unknown. EXISTING LAW AB 159 (2007) revised existing demographic data collection requirements and instead required the Governor to collect and release, on an aggregate statewide basis, demographic data provided by all judicial applicants. The information collected is currently restricted to ethnicity, race, and gender, as provided by the appointee or nominee and is provided voluntarily. FOR MORE INFORMATION Mario Guerrero, Equality California (916) 554-7681 or Seyron Foo, Office of Senator Ellen Corbett (916) 651-4010 or

Schwarzenegger, A. (2010). 2009 Judicial Applicant Data. Sacramento, CA: Office of the Governor.