New York Just Appointed the Country’s First Trans Male Judge

A historic judicial appointment has come out of New York. On Wednesday, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed judge Seth Marnin to the Court of Claims. Not only is Marnin the state’s first openly trans judge, he is the first openly transgender man to serve as judge in US History.

“I have full faith that this historic and outstanding group of appointees will serve New Yorkers with fairness and impartiality,” Governor Hochul said in a statement, announcing Marnin’s appointment along with 14 others. “With diverse perspectives and extensive expertise, I’m confident that each appointee will bring honor and integrity to New York State’s judiciary.”

Marin currently works as Director of Training and Education, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Columbia University. He has also served as Vice President of Civil Rights at the Anti-Defamation League and the founder of Workplace Strategies, where he provided legal guidance to nonprofits.

The nation’s very first transgender judge, Victoria Kolakowski, was elected in 2010 to the Superior Court of Alameda County, California, winning 51% of the vote. Beforehand, she was the co-chair of the Transgender Law Center’s board of directors and served as administrative law judge for the California Public Utilities Commission. Following her election, she maintains her seat to this day.

In 2022, Andi Mudryk became the first transgender person appointed to a judicial bench in California (by Governor Gavin Newsom). Prior to that, she fought for the rights of people with disabilities as Executive Director at Disabilities Rights Advocates. She currently serves on the Sacramento County Superior Court.

Although openly transgender women have served the judiciary, Seth Marnin is now the first openly trans man to do so.

I“I am honored by the Governor’s appointment and look forward to the Senate hearing tomorrow,” Marnin told Gay City News. “It was not so long ago that a trans person becoming a judge was unimaginable. I hope my nomination and service inspires young trans people and that I can serve as a role model.”

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