A little over six months ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom nominated court of appeals Justice Martin Jenkins to the California Supreme Court. The son of a Coit Tower janitor became the first ever openly gay justice to serve on the high court, and the first African American man to do so in 30 years.

Jenkins recently spoke with The Recorder about his transition into the role of rookie justice, his clerks and his powerful speech accepting the governor’s nomination to the Supreme Court.