Swearing-in of Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud tips Supreme Court majority to women

The Washington state Supreme Court has long had a high share of women serving, but women now hold a majority on the nine-member court and the chief-justice job together for the first time. Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud was sworn in this morning, making her the fifth woman on the court — including Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and Justices Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst and Debra Stephens. Also sworn in today were Owens, re-elected in November, and Justice Steven Gonzalez , re-elected after his appointment last year by outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Departing the court is Justice Tom Chambers who is retiring.

TVW has the proceedings here.

The court system put out a a news release about today’s swearing in ceremonies. The ascendancy of women to a majority on the court continues a decades-long trend in Washington, and it comes on the 100th anniversary of the first women being sworn in to serve in the state Legislature, according to this blog post from the Office of Secretary of State.

For a full roster and links to short biographies of the nine justices go here.

Also this week, the Supreme Court plans a “Centennial Birthday Party” from noon to 2 p.m. Friday to mark 100 years since the Temple of Justice construction project was completed.