June 2014 Bar Bulletin
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June 2014 Bar Bulletin

Judge Yu Appointed to Supreme Court


Chad Allred Named to Superior Court Bench

In making his first appointment to the Washington Supreme Court, Gov. Jay Inslee on May 1 tapped King County Superior Court Judge May Yu to fill the seat vacated by Justice Jim Johnson, who announced his retirement earlier this year due to health issues.

Although the appointment was widely reported as making Judge Yu the first Asian and first openly gay justice on the Court, as well as the sixth female justice on the present Court, such pronouncements, while appropriate with respect to the historic nature of Judge Yu's selection, downplayed her achievements and qualifications for the post.

"Judge Yu has distinguished herself throughout her career as someone of great intellect, dedication and compassion," Gov. Inslee said in announcing the appointment at the Temple of Justice. "She has brought to her work, and to her life, a never-wavering commitment to ensuring justice for everyone. Her appointment today is a moment all Washingtonians can be proud of."

Appearing with current members of the Supreme Court, now-Justice Yu, who was sworn in on May 20, committed herself to working collaboratively with her new colleagues "so the integrity of this institution is only strengthened by our work."

"Trial court judges, at every level of court, are the workhorses of our system of justice," she said. "I am proud to come from their ranks and will do all that I can to remember that the trial court remains the place where the law is actually applied to everyday life."

Justice Yu will run unopposed for election this fall for the two years remaining in Justice Johnson's six-year term.

Justice Yu served on the King County Superior Court bench for 14 years, after her initial appointment by former Gov. Gary Locke. She was subsequently elected to the seat four times. Before coming to the bench, she was a top deputy in the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office under the late Norm Maleng and began her public service career working for the Archdiocese of Chicago, first as an associate and then as director of the Office for the Ministry of Peace and Justice.

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