A U.C. Berkeley law professor whom many conservatives considered too liberal to be a federal judge is now a member of the California Supreme Court.
Goodwin Liu was sworn in to the state's high court Thursday.
The state's three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments unanimously voted for his nomination.
Senate Republicans blocked Liu's appointment to the federal bench twice.
Critics say Liu is likely to be an activist judge who supports racial quotas and same-sex marriage.
He will be on the bench next week as the California Supreme Court hears the latest case concerning gay marriage.