One of the Imperial Valley's own was sworn in as a Superior Court judge Friday. While that may not be unusual, that the native will be the first woman to serve on the Superior Court bench made it a historic moment.
We are sure Annie Gutierrez, a proven prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney General's Office in El Centro and the local District Attorney's Office, wouldn't want people to focus on that she is the first female judge. What she would want to be noted for is abilities that have led her to this point.
Gutierrez should be a fine judge on many levels. She has a proven record of being tough on criminals, but she comes to her new role declaring her interest in being a fair and understanding judge who will create an atmosphere in which the law can be protected.
The fact that she is local is no minor point. She cares about the Valley. She cares about protecting the lives and rights of those who reside here — even those accused of crimes.