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Pennsylvania

Obama nominates openly lesbian Hispanic judge to federal bench

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, who currently serves on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, for a federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Quiñones would become the first openly gay Hispanic woman to serve on the federal bench.

Nitza Quiñones Alejandro

Quiñones previously worked as a staff attorney for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from 1979 to 1991, and she served as an attorney advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1977 to 1979.

She began her legal career as a staff attorney for Community Legal Services, Inc. in Philadelphia.

Quiñones received her law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1975 and her bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico in 1972 according to a biography provided by the White House.

In addition, Obama also nominated Luis Felipe Restrepo and Jeffrey L. Schmehl to fill vacancies on the same U.S. District Court.

“These nominees are emblematic of the President’s commitment to nominating qualified, diverse nominees to the federal bench,” said Marge Baker of People For the American Way. “They are also a sign of the president’s commitment to solving the vacancy crisis in our federal courts without delay.”

“I’m pleased that the White House has nominated these exceptionally qualified members of the legal community to the bench,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.). “I was proud to work in a bipartisan fashion with Sen. (Patrick) Toomey to nominate these individuals, and I’m hopeful that the Senate will work in a constructive manner to confirm them to the bench in the near future.”

“I’m confident that these individuals who Sen. Toomey and I have recommended and the White House has nominated will serve with the highest standards and discharge justice in a fair and impartial way,” he said.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. Murders 16 year old American Citizen vs. This.

    Yeah Obama’s a great guy alright.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:45pm
  2. a hispanic lesbian republicans are shitting themselves.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:46pm
  3. *Robert Frie- The hell are you tinfoil hatting about?

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:50pm
  4. Yeah Robert I’m confused, I’m all in for education could you enlighten me as to where you were going with that.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:55pm
  5. Her sexual orientation is meaningless… Her race is meaningless… Her gender is meaningless… Stop focusing on the meaningless and focus on her QUALIFICATION for the position.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:56pm
  6. Of course he did…she was perfect for the job.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:04pm
  7. Robert is talking about Abdulrahman alAwlaki who was killed by a drone strike while visiting Yemen.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:11pm
  8. Maryann – her gender and sexual orientation isn’t meaningless to those in the community eager for role models. Ultimately it should NOT matter, but as it still does, let’s celebrate this President for honoring and promoting diversity.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:15pm
  9. @Maryann Fläsch – it’s meaningful to mention her orientation because it shows advancement and progress for the community. p.s.: this is an LGBT page, so if they don’t mention it, we’d all wonder why they reported it, if they’re lgbt or straight-ally, etc. And, if you bothered to read the article, they did cover her qualifications quite well.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:21pm
  10. Maryann… Last I checked we live in America, not Utopia. As long as people are still discriminated against, denied basic civil rights, and are the victims of hate based violence simply because of gender, race, and sexual orientation, than those things are not meaningless.

    Throughout history there have been minority people QUALIFIED for a job who have been discriminated against for not being in the good ole boy club…

    Simply recognizing the existence of qualified minority people is meaningful, and in fact, revolutionary.

    She’s a non-white, lesbian, female being recognized as worthy of a top government position. That’s far from meaningless.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:21pm
  11. Wow, is Obama trying to piss off the GOP? I mean….A WOMAN who isn’t WHITE who happens to be a LESBIAN? Three strikes she’s out.
    Good for him. I hope she does the job well. It’s good to see more representation in there. Keep it up Pres.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:24pm
  12. i love our presidents iconoclism…(^_-) and and his wisdom in using it !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 10:57pm
  13. I am not Hispanic. However, I am a woman and with that alone this is Awsome. Being open about being a lesbian is an even bigger plus. I just wish ppl would see that its not what we do behind closed doors, in the privacy of our homes, that get ppl like this elected. It’s education, dedication, sacrifice and hard work that put her here.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 12:41am
  14. Good Ole Obama!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:59am
  15. Well, my personal shero, Barbara Jordan, is still widely respected,! Most folks don’t know that she was a lesbian as well as a woman of color. At that time, coming out might have destroyed her career, although the sheer force of her personality might have carried her through ! I’ve always wondered !

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:18am
  16. Just another step towards an even leveled playing field.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 1:26pm
  17. do it closer to victory

    Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:25pm
  18. Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:06pm