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First Lesbian Latina Nominated to Federal Bench

First Lesbian Latina Nominated to Federal Bench

President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, an openly gay Latina, for a federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Quiñones, who serves on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, would become the first openly gay Hispanic woman to serve on the federal bench if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to a recent article.

President Obama has nominated eight openly-gay judges to federal court since he took office in 2009. Three of those eight nominations have been confirmed.

Quiñones was a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from 1979 to 1991, and was an attorney advisor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1977 to 1979. She started her career with Community Legal Services, Inc. in Philadelphia.

Quiñones graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law after receiving a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico in 1972, according to a White House biography of Quiñones.

“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.”

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