Press Release

Long Overdue Recognition for Chief Justice Rose Bird

Legislature approves resolution to name Peace Plaza at Capitol Park after her

Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird’s historical contributions to California were formally recognized for the first time Thursday when the Assembly gave final approval to a resolution that names a portion of the State Capitol World Peace Rose Garden after her.

The dedication will be known as the “Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird Justice for All Plaza,” located in the Peace Plaza of the Rose Garden.

Senator Steve Glazer, D-Contra Costa, authored the concurrent resolution, which passed on a 60-7 vote in the Assembly and 30-7 in the Senate. Concurrent resolutions do not need the governor’s signature.

“Rose Elizabeth Bird will now be properly recognized for her historic accomplishments as a Chief Justice and breaking through glass ceilings for women in law and government,” Senator Glazer said. “For too long, her accomplishments were overlooked. Finally, we will have a place that is dedicated to her memory.”

Senator Glazer thanked Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley and Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Women’s Caucus respectively, for their collaboration on this effort. He also credited Women Lawyers of Sacramento with providing important support for the effort.

Private funds would be required to pay for a plaque.

Bird accomplished many important “firsts” for women in law over the course of her career.

She was the:

first female Chief Justice of California;

first female Chair of the Judicial Council;

first female deputy public defender in Santa Clara County;

first female cabinet member for a California governor—then Governor Jerry Brown;

and the first female law clerk for the Nevada State Supreme Court.

“Recognition in the State Capitol World Peace Rose Garden is a fitting way to acknowledge the late Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird’s significant contributions to California,” Senator Glazer said. “I look forward to the day her historical marker is unveiled so that those who come to the Rose Garden can learn about her achievements in law and government.”