Justice Steven C. Gonzalez was sworn into office today to fill the Washington state Supreme Court vacancy left by Gerry Alexander’s retirement. TVW.org taped this morning’s proceedings in the Temple of Justice here.
Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Gonzalez last year just before Alexander was forced to retire because he was hitting the mandatory retirement age, 75. Gonzalez becomes the second Latino justice on the court after retired Justice Charles Z. Smith, who was appointed by former Gov. Booth Gardner in 1988.
Gonzalez is well known for his work on advocating equal access to justice, and he chaired a court board that has championed that work – including the writing of guidelines to improve access for people with disabilities. He also is a former assistant U.S. Attorney who worked on the case against Ahmed Ressam, accused of a terrorist plot to blow up the Space Needle, and in the Seattle city attorney’s domestic violence unit. Go here for his court bio.