First Hispanic and Openly Lesbian Federal Judge Confirmed in PA

Eight months after her nomination, openly lesbian judge, Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro of Philadelphia has been confirmed as a federal court judge for Eastern Pennsylvania, with the unanimous approval of the United States Senate. She will be the first openly lesbian Hispanic woman to serve in the federal court system, as well as the first Hispanic woman on the Eastern Pennsylvania court.

She was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama, who spoke of her accomplishments at a Pride Month reception held at the White House, saying,

“I want to congratulate Nitza Quiñones Alejandro, who just a few hours ago was confirmed by the Senate, making her the first openly gay Hispanic federal judge in our country’s history… good news.”

Judge Quiñones Alejandro is the seventh openly LGBT person to be confirmed as a federal judge.

Judge Quiñones Alejandro is a native of Puerto Rico, where she attended college and law school. She moved to Pennsylvania upon her graduation. Her legal career in Philadelphia began in 1975 as an attorney for Community Legal Services, where she helped defend low income residents. She later served as an attorney for the Department of Veterans Affairs and as an advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services. She was appointed in 1991 by then Governor Robert P. Casey to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and was the first Hispanic woman to be a judge on the court.

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