First Native American Justice sworn into Washington Supreme Court
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – The Washington Supreme Court has sworn in its new chief justice as well as its first Native American justice ever.
The Spokesman-Review reports Justice Debra Stephens on Monday became its 57th chief justice. Stephens is a former Appeals Court judge and adjunct professor of law at Gonzaga University.
Raquel Montoya-Lewis was also sworn in Monday. She was formerly a Whatcom County Superior Court judge and is a member of the Pueblo Iselta tribe of New Mexico.
Stephens was elected chief justice by other members of the court after former Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst announced she was resigning to fight cancer.
Last month, Gov. Jay Inslee named Montoya-Lewis to fill the open seat on the court.