Judge LaDoris Cordell, the first Black woman to sit on a Superior Court bench in Northern California, doesn’t accept the widely promulgated notion of activist judges as precedent-evading rogues who rule based on their own political beliefs. In her new memoir, “Her Honor,” Cordell writes she believes “judges are either activists for justice or black-robed do-nothings.”

“In my world, judicial activists implement and support changes to improve our legal system, while maintaining a deep and abiding respect for judicial precedent,” she writes.