State Supreme Court features first-ever female majority

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - For the first time, Washington's Supreme Court features a female majority and a female chief justice.

Newly elected Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud is the fifth woman on the court, after Chief Justice Barbara Madsen and Justices Susan Owens, Mary Fairhurst and Debra Stephens. McCloud defeated former Justice Richard Sanders in the November election for the seat being vacated by the retiring Tom Chambers.

McCloud, an experienced criminal appeals lawyer, was sworn in Monday at the Temple of Justice in Olympia. Also sworn in were Owens and Steven Gonzales, who were both reelected in November.