Updated: PR Makes Judicial History; Confirms Openly Gay Justice as Chief Justice

Justice Maite Oronoz RodriguezPuerto Rico Supreme Court Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez
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Puerto Rico Supreme Court Nominated Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez, the first openly gay justice, to its Supreme Court.

The Puerto Rican Senate voted 14-12 to confirm openly lesbian Judge Maite Oronoz Rodriguez as chief justice of the Caribbean island’s Supreme Court, according to Latino Fox News.

Puerto Rico Supreme Court Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez was nominated around mid February to be the court chief justice, making her the first openly gay justice in the U.S. Governor of the commonwealth, Alejandro García Padilla, announced the nomination, according to The Advocate. Oronoz Rodríguez has been a member of the court since 2014. She has worked as an attorney specializing in labor, contract, and constitutional law. She began her career as a clerk for then chief justice of the Puerto Rico high court Federico Hernández Denton. [pullquote]Puerto Rico Supreme Court Justice Maite Oronoz Rodríguez has been nominated to be the court chief justice, making her the first openly gay justice in the U.S. Governor of the commonwealth, Alejandro García Padilla, announced recently[/pullquote]

“We are pleased with Governor García Padilla’s decision and applaud this important moment in Puerto Rico,” said a statement released by staff attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan.

She expressed her gratitude for the appointment.

“For the judicial system in the United States to be truly fair, it must reflect the full range of our country’s rich diversity. It is critical that the judiciary be composed of judges who truly represent and understand the issues faced by all of the people affected by its rulings, including LGBT people. A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, but to boost public confidence in the courts,” she said according to The Advocate. Oronoz Rodríguez will succeed Chief Justice Liana Fiol Matta. Fol Matta turned 70 this year, which is the age limit for the court. 

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