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December 5, 2019

1st Native American named to state high court

OLYMPIA (AP) — Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis was appointed to the state Supreme Court Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, who said she will be the first Native American justice to serve on the state's highest court.

Montoya-Lewis, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta and a descendant of the Pueblo of Laguna Indian tribes, will be sworn in next month to fulfill the remaining year of Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst's term, and the seat will be open for election in 2020. Montoya-Lewis will not serve as chief justice on the nine-member court. Justice Debra Stephens was elected by her fellow members of the court to take that top spot, and will be sworn into her new role in January.

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