Justice Ming W. Chin today announced he will retire from the Supreme Court of California on August 31, capping a nearly 25-year career on the state high court.
Justice Chin is the court’s first Chinese-American justice and its longest-serving sitting member. He authored over 350 majority opinions and more than 100 separate opinions during his tenure, including a landmark decision that paved the way for spousal abuse to be used as a defense in murder cases. Justice Chin also joined the majority to strike down a law requiring minors to get permission from a parent or judge before having an abortion.
A nationally renowned expert on DNA evidence, Justice Chin gained recognition for his ruling while on the First District Court of Appeal that the statistical model used to match DNA evidence to the defendant was not yet generally accepted in the scientific community. Years later, he joined the high court majority to rule that DNA science was ready to be used as evidence in trial courts.
"I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve with three very different but spectacular chief justices,” Justice Chin said. “The judicial system has faced some major challenges in my time on the bench, but I believe the branch is now in a strong position. Justice Chuck Vogel once said my opinions are characterized by clarity and courage. If that is what is written about me in 50 years, I would be happy."
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