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California Supreme Court|Justices Sworn in

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday swore in two justices to the California Supreme Court, continuing to diversify the court, with two relatively young appointees without bench experience.

Brown administered oaths to Leondra Kruger, 38, and Mariano-Florentine Cuéllar, 42, at the Stanley Mosk Library in Sacramento.

Kruger, who is African American, was a deputy assistant attorney general in Washington, D.C., where she argued 12 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown dismissed concerns about picking someone from Washington for California's highest court

"She is Californian; all Californians come from somewhere else," Brown said, garnering laughs from the audience.

Kruger, who will be the youngest member of the state supreme court, thanked Brown for his confidence in a woman with no bench experience.

"It's with a deep sense of awe and dedication that I assume this position for this great state," Kruger said during her acceptance speech.

"Tino" Cuéllar has been a law professor at Stanford since 2001. He co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition's Immigration Policy Working Group. He was born in Mexico and came to California when he was 14.

After taking the oath with his two children at side, Cuéllar said he would seek "a thoughtful and impartial judiciary system operated with fairness."

"Our courts owe each child neutrality and access," Cuéllar said.

"I'm looking for real wisdom, we are facing real problems in a very conflicted society," Brown said of his new justices. "The wisdom and rulings of California's justices have impacts on courts around the world."

The new appointees and the governor all graduated from Yale Law School.

"Yale is a great place, isn't it?" Brown said during the ceremony.

The ceremony was part of a busy Monday schedule for the governor. He was sworn in for his fourth term in a separate event Monday morning.

The 76-year-old governor spoke about California's challenges during the televised inauguration.

"We are at a crossroads," Brown said. "With big and important new programs now launched and the budget carefully balanced, the challenge is to build for the future, not steal from it."

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