Sen. Quezada both pleased and disappointed by judicial nominations
Demands some Latino nominees for three remaining seats
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Ana B. Quezada said she is simultaneously disappointed by and grateful for the nomination last week by Gov. Gina M. Raimondo’s of six candidates for open judgeships.
The nominees, three of whom are black and three of whom are women, will bring some much-needed diversity to Rhode Island’s bench.
But Senator Quezada (D-Dist. 2, Providence), who along with Senator Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) and Sen. Sandra Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket) called on the governor this summer to appoint more minority judges to fill vacancies, is disappointed that none of the six is Latino. None of Rhode Island’s current judges are Latino, either.
“Definitely, having more judges of color is a step in the right direction. I’m so happy for the nominees, and that half of them are people of color, because the courts should better reflect the population of people who come before them. But at the same time, there is not a single Latino or Latina among them. We should be represented on the bench, and it’s disappointing that it just isn’t happening right now,” said Senator Quezada.
Senator Quezada urged the Judicial Nominating Commission and Governor Raimondo, in the strongest terms possible, to ensure that Latinos are included in the next set of nominees. The state still has three open judgeships to be filled.
“We are a big part of Rhode Island, and the court benches should reflect that. Our community must not go unrepresented in the judicial branch of our state government,” she continued.
On Dec. 10, the governor announced the nominations of Melissa E. Darigan to the Superior Court, Christopher Knox Smith and Melissa DuBose to the District Court, Richard Merola to Family Court, and Keith A. Cardoza Jr. and Susan Pepin Fay to Workers’ Compensation Court. All six face Senate confirmation when legislators return in January. Of the six seats they would fill, two were vacated by black judges and one was vacated by a Latino judge.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903