Jenkins attended San Francisco City College and earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco. He said his parents never would have imagined that he would be named to serve on the state's highest court.
"They taught us respect for others, and as importantly, they taught us the value of serving others — public service, which my father modeled as a janitor at Coit Tower for well over 25 years," Jenkins said.
If confirmed, Jenkins will be the first Black man on the seven-member court since Allen Broussard retired in 1991. Associate Justice Leondra Kruger, appointed by former Gov. Jerry Brown, is also Black. Jenkins will be second oldest member of the court, behind Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, who is 72.
The nomination must now be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, comprised of Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Xavier Becerra and senior Presiding Justice of the state Court of Appeal J. Anthony Kline.
Newsom predicted a quick confirmation and said Jenkins could join the court "as soon as next month."