Maria Antongiorgi-Jordan – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico

Unlike magistrate and bankruptcy judges, who are frequently considered for lifetime appointments to the federal bench, it is relatively uncommon for court clerks to be appointed to the bench. As such, the nomination of Maria Antongiorgi-Jordan is a rarity: a chance for her to replace the Chief Judge she worked closely with.


Maria del R. Antongiorgi-Jordan received her B.A. from Seton Hall University in 1989 and her J.D. from the Intramerican University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1992. After graduating, Antongiorgi-Jordan earned an M. Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center and then joined McConnell Valde in San Juan.

In 2018, Antongiorgi-Jordan became Chief Deputy Clerk for the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, becoming Chief Clerk in 2019. She currently serves in that role.

History of the Seat

Antongiorgi-Jordan has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. This seat opened when Judge Gustavo Gelpi was elevated to the First Circuit on October 19, 2021.

Legal Experience

Antongiorgi-Jordan has spent the vast majority of her legal career, between 1995 and 2018, at McConnell Valde in San Juan. At the firm, she primarily engaged in employment litigation. For example, Antongiorgi-Jordan represented Bristol Myers Squibb in defending against a discrimination action brought by a former employee. See Dilcia Ocasio Berrios v. Bristol Myers Squibb, 73 F. Supp. 2d 171 (D.P.R. 1999). Her work has also included appellate litigation before the First Circuit, including defending a grant of summary judgment in favor of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in a military service discrimination case. Vega-Colon v. Wyeth Pharms., 625 F.3d 22 (1st Cir. 2010).

Since 2018, Antongiorgi-Jordan has served with the clerk’s office for the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. In this role, she worked with then Chief Judge Gelpi on the District’s plan to adjust its operations to the Covid-19 pandemic. See Federal Court Ready For Face-to-Face Cases, CE Noticias Financerias English, Mar. 12, 2021.

Overall Assessment

Nominations to the District of Puerto Rico have rarely brought the same degree of partisan fervor as those to other courts. Antongiorgi-Jordan’s nomination is unlikely to be too different. While her background as a clerk is unusual for a judicial nominee, Antongiorgi-Jordan also brings extensive litigation experience on both the trial and appellate levels to the bench, and will likely be able to hit the ground running as a federal judge.


    • The Supreme Court has officially over turned Roe v Wade. Wouldn’t it be a good look if Biden called on congress to cancel recess & the senate returned next week, started each day with a vote (Even a failed vote) to protect woman’s choice, then follow it up with confirming some more judges. I truly believe Democrats approval rating would go up. It’s just a bad look that they are in yachts & vacation while this decision is handed down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Frank

        I’m perfectly fine with that. Let Sinema miss. You still will get to confirm judges with Kramer out (Plus numerous other Republicans that won’t show up) plus get the good news coverage that Dems are actually trying to do something about the issue. But then going on vacation right now is just such a bad look. It may not lose them any votes, but cancelling recess & doing what I said would almost certainly gain them votes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 13 states have trigger laws & a potential of 26 states are looking to have laws on the books to ban abortions in one form or another. West Virginia governor Justice said today he is considering calling a special session to get the legislature to pass one.

        It’s amazing to me that even in victory, Republicans can call their legislators back in session while in defeat Democrats still keep their two week senate recess. That in a nut shell pretty much shows you the difference between the two parties.


    • Considering who the NJ senators are, I wouldn’t expect anyone other than the types of nominees who have been previously picked. Most of their picks during the Biden administration have made a campaign contribution to at least one of Booker and Menendez, so if I were to guess who gets picked for these latest openings, I’d look to see who has donated to them.


      • I think Castner will be considered by future Democratic administrations as a 3rd circuit nominee. Besides that, the other judges are too old to be seriously considered for a promotion (even as I am not as concerned about age as you and others here are).


      • I agree Georgette Castner is a good pick. She is young & has a background in trying to legalize marijuana. I’ll give them Julian Neal since he was nominated by Obama & then blocked plus we know how close he is to senator Booker. I’ll even give them Zahid Quraishi simply as a historical pick, albeit there were other progressive nominees that could have been the first Muslim federal judge.

        Karen Williams is a bad pick as she has no progressive background & old. Evelyn Padin has a good background but is in her 60’s. I will stick with my precious position that Christine O’Hearn is the absolute worst Biden pick to date. She’s one of three judges I couldn’t have voted for if I were in the senate. The other two, Childs & Pan get more attention since they are circuit court nominees but at least both of them are very qualified, I just think are horrible picks politically & because of their age.


  1. I know we have discussed at length the Biden circuit court nominees diversity when it comes to ethnicity & professional background. One thing we have not discussed is diversity in regards to which universities each nominee has gotten their JD’s from.

    I believe Harvard & Yale is the most represented universities for all previous president’s in my life time. Below are the universities for each Biden nominee so far;

    Ketanji Brown Jackson – Harvard

    Candace Jackson-Akiwumi – Yale

    Tiffany P. Cunningham – Harvard (2)

    Eunice C. Lee – Yale (2)

    Veronica S. Rossman – University of California, Hastings

    Gustavo Gelpí – Suffolk University

    Myrna Pérez – Columbia University ***Went to both Harvard & Yale for undergrad.***

    Beth Robinson – University of Chicago

    Toby J. Heytens – University of Virginia School of Law

    Lucy Koh – Harvard (3)

    Jennifer Sung – Yale (3)

    Gabriel P. Sanchez – Yale (4)

    Holly A. Thomas – Yale (5)

    Leonard P. Stark – Yale (6)

    Alison Nathan – Cornell University

    Stephanie D. Davis – Washington University

    Andre Mathis – University of Memphis

    J. Michelle Childs – Duke

    Arianna J. Freeman – Yale (7)

    John Z. Lee – Harvard (4)

    Salvador Mendoza Jr. – UCLA

    Sarah A. L. Merriam – Yale (8)

    Lara Montecalvo – Boston College

    Nancy Abudu – Tulane University

    Florence Y. Pan – Stanford University

    Rachel Bloomekatz – UCLA (2)

    Doris Pryor – Indiana University

    Brad Garcia – Harvard (5)

    Dana Douglas – Dana Douglas

    Roopali Desai – University of Arizona

    Liked by 1 person

    • @Joe

      Not a problem. It’s understandable. Not many nominees have a LLM. It’s one of the things I factored in when I said she was a horrible nomination & I gave her a F+. I really wanted to give her a F- but I wanted to be fair. I know some have said she’s not qualified & while I hate she was nominated to the DC circuit, I can’t say she is unqualified. She has a masters of law so that alone is impressive… Lol


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