President Barack Obama on Thursday
congratulated Nitza Quinones Alejandro on her confirmation to the
The Senate earlier in the day confirmed
Quinones to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, making her the first-ever openly gay Latina confirmed
to the federal bench.
Obama noted her confirmation during an
annual Gay Pride reception held at the White House.
“[E]ven though she couldn't be here
today, because she's getting ready to finally taker her seat on the
bench and get to work, I want to congratulate Nitza Quinones
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,” Obama
said during a brief speech.
The president first nominated Quinones,
a Puerto Rico native, for the position in November on the
recommendation of Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat. Obama
renominated her at the start of the 113th Congress in
Since 1991, Quinones has served as a
judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas.