This evening Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu won her primary to advance to the general election in November. Yu was the first out lesbian as well as the first Asian-American and woman of color to serve as a justice on the court.
“Mary Yu’s appointment shattered many glass ceilings,” said Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. “Her experience and judicial acumen make her the most deserving of a seat on the bench.”
Yu was appointed by Washington governor Jay Inslee to fill a vacant position left by Justice James Johnson on the State Supreme Court. Born to first-generation immigrants of Mexican and Chinese descent, Yu comes with 14 years of trial court experience over a wide range of criminal, civil, family and juvenile cases. Yu is currently a King County, Wa. Supreme Court judge, where she has co-chaired the statewide Minority and Justice Commission. She has lectured at Seattle University, helped direct the bar association’s leadership institute for young attorneys, and sat on the board of FareStart. Among an exhaustive list of accolades, Yu was recognized as “Judge of the Year” by the Washington State Association for Justice and as “Public Official of the Year” by the Municipal League Foundation. Additionally, she has received President’s Awards from both the Asian Bar Association as well as Washington Women Lawyers. Yu is widely known for volunteering to officiate the vows of the first same-sex marriage in Washington, moments after the state’s marriage equality law went into effect. Her appointment will make her the first openly LGBT, first Asian-American, first Latina and first woman of color to serve on the state’s highest court.