On Wednesday, the longest-serving justice of the California Supreme Court announced that he would retire this summer. It’s a big deal for a court that seats only seven.
Ming Chin, the state’s first Chinese-American justice, will hang up his robe after nearly twenty-five years on the high court. Before that, he served on the trial court and court of appeal. I’ve never met him but learned he’s had an interesting life. He grew up humbly on his family’s potato farm, served honorably during the war in Vietnam, and was the first Asian-American prosecutor in Alameda County as well as the first Asian-American partner of a major law firm in Oakland. His peers have said his rulings were characterized by clarity and courage.
“Only in America could the son of a Chinese immigrant farmer rise to sit on this state’s highest court,” he had said upon accepting his appointment.
Happy trails, Justice.