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The Virginia General Assembly has elected the state’s first African-American female Supreme Court justice, Cleo E. Powell of Chesterfield County, in a historic selection that also marks the first time the state legislature has elected any African-American to the state’s highest court.

Others have been appointed by governors and confirmed by lawmakers, according to Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico.

McEachin described Justice Powell as “the only member of the court that has served at every level in addition to, of course, being the first African-American woman.”

“She’s well-credentialed, well-experienced and I look forward to her having a very successful tenure as a member of the Supreme Court.”

The justices are elected to 12-year terms starting Aug. 1 at an annual salary of $170,339.

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