President Obama nominates first openly lesbian Hispanic federal judge


President Barack Obama has nominated Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro for a federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to the Advocate. If approved by the senate, Quiñones will be the first openly gay Hispanic woman to serve on a federal bench.

Quiñones currently serves on the Philadelphia County Court Of Common Pleas. She is among three federal judges President Obama nominated late last month. 

According to the Human Rights Organization, Quiñones is the eighth openly gay life-tenured federal court judiciary named by Obama.

Of Puerto Rican descent, Quiñones graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico with a bachelors degree in business administration in 1972, and received her law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1975. 

She has since practiced law as a staff attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as being an attorney advisor for the Department of Health & Human Services, according to the Washington Blade.

President Obama spoke to the commitment and dedication of Quiñones as well as his two other nominees. “These men and women have had distinguished legal careers,” said the President, “and I am honored to ask them to continue their work as judges on the federal bench.” 

Obama also nominated Pamela Ki Mai Chen in August for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If elected, she will be the first out Asian-American judge to be seated on the federal bench. 

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