SALEM, Ore. -- In a first for Oregon, an African-American judge will serve on the state's highest court.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday the appointment of Judge Adrienne Nelson to the Oregon Supreme Court.
Nelson, a trial judge in Multnomah County, will be the first African-American to serve on any kind of appellate court in Oregon and the second woman of color to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court.
“Judge Nelson brings to our highest court an important, new voice and wealth of experience she has gained in 12 years on the trial bench," Brown said in a statement.
In 2016, Justice Lynn Nakamoto became the first woman of color and first Asian-American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court, a position she continues to holds.
Nelson grew up in Arkansas. She was an English and Criminal Justice major at the University of Arkansas, graduating summa cum laude. She earned a law degree from the University of Texas.
She was first appointed to the Multnomah County Circuit Court in 2006 and has previously worked as a senior attorney and coordinator at Portland State University, an attorney at a Portland law firm and a public defender at Multnomah Defenders Inc.
"In addition to her work in the courtroom, she has made extraordinary strides to make the trial bench more receptive to the needs and experiences of diverse and underserved communities in our state," Brown said.
She added that Nelson, a widely respected civil rights champion, will bring a fresh perspective to the bench that will move Oregon "closer to our shared vision of justice for all.”
Nelson will fill the vacancy created by Justice Jack Landau's retirement. Her appointment is effective immediately.
For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at email@example.com, call 503-399-6884 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth