Judge Gina Mendez-Miro – Nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico

One half of a judicial supercouple, Judge Gina Mendez-Miro was considered last year for appointment to the First Circuit but is now looking at a lifetime appointment to the District of Puerto Rico. It is an appointment that she is likely to get.

Background

Mendez-Miro received her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus in 1996, a Masters in Romance Languages from Princeton University, and her J.D. from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 2001. After graduating, Mendez-Miro worked at O’Neill & Borges until 2006, when she joined the Puerto Rico Department of Justice. In 2008, Mendez-Miro shifted to the Office of Court Administration with the Puerto Rico judicial branch, and then served in the Legal Affairs Office until 2013.

In 2013, Mendez-Miro became Chief of Staff to the Puerto Rico Senate. In 2016, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla appointed Mendez-Miro to the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals, where she currently serves.

Mendez-Miro is married to Maite Oronoz Rodriguez, who serves as Chief Justice of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.

History of the Seat

Mendez-Miro has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. This seat opened when Judge Carmen Cerezo moved to senior status on February 28, 2021.

Legal Experience

Mendez-Miro has held a variety of legal positions throughout her career, including in private practice, government, and in the legislative branch. Early in her career, for example, she worked on defending the Puerto Rico electoral commission against a suit asserting constitutional claims arising out of the 2004 elections. See Rossello-Gonzalez v. Serra, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 52570 (D.P.R. June 27, 2005).

Later, while working as Chief of Staff to the Puerto Rico Senate, Mendez-Miro represented amici in a suit challenging Puerto Rico’s ban on gay marriage. See Conde-Vidal v. Rius-Armendariz, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 23042 (1st Cir. July 8, 2015).

Jurisprudence

Since 2016, Mendez-Miro has served as a Judge with the Puerto Rico Court of Appeals. In this role, Mendez-Miro served as an intermediate appellate judge reviewing trial court and agency decisions.

Because all Puerto Rico state court decisions are written in Spanish, no analysis of her opinions was conducted.

Overall Assessment

As the youngest of the trio, Mendez-Miro is arguably the most “controversial” of the nominees put forward for the District of Puerto Rico. However, even that is not saying much.

There is little in Mendez-Miro’s record that is likely to galvanize opposition, and while she, like most modern judicial nominees, will attract opposition, such opposition is unlikely to derail a smooth confirmation.

46 Comments

  1. I was hoping Gina Mendez-Miro would be the 1st circuit nominee last year. Even more so now looking at one of the conservative opinions written by judge Gelpi. She is easily the better of the three PR district court nominees with her being the youngest & seemingly the most progressive. Her making history once confirmed to court only makes her an even better nominee.

    I give her an A with only me not being able to read all of her opinions thoroughly due to them not being written in English being the only thing stopping me from giving her an A+. With time an upgrade is certainly possible. I look forward to her confirmation & addition to the court.

    Like

    • I’ve been uploading pictures for Biden & Trump judges over the past few days. When I uploaded Tiffany Cartwright‘s picture I noticed some idiot put in a request to delete her page because she isn’t a notable figure. Me & a few others wrote in how ridiculous his request is but he used some Wikipedia lingo which I don’t know & I guess he won’t. I’m not sure what his agenda is but he must have won. I didn’t see any other deletion request from him as I was uploading the other pictures so hopefully whoever the idiot is, he doesn’t become a problem.

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      • Correct, he used some rules to get her page deleted (although the draft page still exists). This is just another of many reasons I am not a fan of Wikipedia, and I would expect more pages from these judges to be deleted (either by the same user or someone with similar intentions).

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      • I’m so mad. I just responded in plain English & was told I wasn’t using the correct verbiage. It’s completely idiotic a nominee from the president of the United States for a life time judgeship can’t have a Wikipedia page.

        I’m hoping whoever the moron was maybe just had something against her personally, like an old BF or something. I can’t imagine what his agenda could be in regards to deleting all of them.

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      • Even if a nominee fails to get confirmed I think that’s enough to have a Wikipedia page. Like I don’t see what’s the harm either way. It’s not like there is a limit on how many pages they can have.

        I don’t want to be spending time puting pictures on every Biden judge page (I have friends in town this weekend so I should finish the pictures for the Trump judges in the next 3 to 5 days), only to have some dweeb request the page should be deleted because they have nothing better to do with their lives. Like really, if you don’t want to see it then just don’t search for the person. I don’t see what’s the point to go through the time & energy to request a page be deleted.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That wikipedia situation is strange. It’ll probably be restored soon.

      As for Gina Mendez-Miro, she seems to be the most progressive of the Puerto Rico nominees and will likely get the most votes against her of them. But she’s still likely to be confirmed.

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      • IDK Mitch, Wikipedia has its own lingo so if you know how to use it to your advantage, you seem to be able to get things deleted even if it doesn’t make sense. And it only takes one idiot because they don’t go by popular demand.

        I once tried to add the local DC courts link at the bottom of the Biden list of federal judges in the “See also” section. It was fine for a few days & then one guy deleted it & said it wasn’t relevant. I added it back because they had many other less relevant things in that section. He deleted it again & changed his reason to he didn’t want the page to get cluttered. When I went back & forth with him, he used some Wikipedia lingo & for it deleted. It only takes one person with nothing better to do with their lives to delete stuff unfortunately.

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  2. @ Dequan,

    So that was you uploading the photos of the judges….Nice work!, as many nominees did not have their photo even though they had a hearing a while back…….Now, can the senate just get them confirmed!…

    Like

    • Yesssirrr that was me. I use Wikipedia about as much as I write on this blog so I got tired of the inconsistency of some nominees having a picture & some not having one. So I took the time to add the pictures for all of the Biden judges, which is why I knew what was going on with the Tiffany Cartwright page.

      I already started uploading pics for the Trump judges. I should be finished by the next few days. Believe it or not I wasn’t able to find a picture for one of his judges, Illinois Northern district court judge Iain D. Johnston. So if anybody has a picture of him, feel free to add it. Other then him, I should be finished with all 230 (God I hate saying that many with him only having 4 years in office) Trump judges.

      And as for getting the confirmations started, hopefully all of the pressure from progressive groups will get the ball rolling next week. If senator Kramer is still out then there will still be a tie 49-49 senate. Let’s see who comes back first between him & Leahy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. While going through the past SJC hearings during Trump to get pictures of each judge so I can upload their pictures onto their Wikipedia pages, I came across the Wednesday, August 1, 2018 hearing. The Republicans had SEVEN nominees that day for federal judges. I think under Biden, Durbin had six nominees once & the most any other hearing had was five. There’s no reason Durbin can’t have a hearing with seven nominees just like Republicans did.

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  4. Ok for all of you Wikipedia fans out there, I just completed uploading the pictures for the federal judges. Here’s a breakdown….

    Biden – All judges & all nominees that have had a SJC hearing.

    Trump – All judges except for Illinois Northern district court judge Iain D. Johnston. I simply could not find a picture of him anywhere.

    Obama – All circuit court judges except for those that are either not in active service or already announced they will be stepping down.

    Like

    • At this point I want whatever the Republican senators have because clearly have the vaccine that works better then Pfizer & Moderna. If Schumer doesn’t cancel at least one week of the Summer recess then they mine as well phone it in for confirming all of the pending nominees.

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      • I can’t find the exact link but there was one about a week showing that there is literally not enough time left for most of the nominees to be confirmed based on the current Senate calendar.

        So we’re just going to have to hope for a miracle that we keep the Senate because most of these judges aren’t going to get confirmed before the midterms. I’ve just accepted it.

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      • @Delco

        I read that article as well. While the point of the article will certainly end up being correct & every current nominee will not be confirmed by the end of the year (Barring some horrible Chad Meredith type deal), there is actually a way for the Democrats to confirm not just every current nominee, but even add on the nominees from the next batch or two as well.

        All that could be done while still keeping their Monday 5pm to Thursday 3pm schedule (Which is bs by the way). They can also keep their entire Summer recess. They can also do it if you throw in another loss week (On top of this up coming week) with them doing nothing because of a temporary loss of their 51-50 majority due to Covid or anything else.

        Ok I see you on the floor about to pass out from laughing. Trust me, I know I sound crazy but I haven’t been drinking so hear me out… Lol

        As for the SJC, Durbin needs to do either or both of these two things. There are four week left before the August recess. If Durbin holds two hearings over that four weeks, keeping his every other week schedule, he needs to have a hearing on one of the two off weeks. He can justify it by saying they are about to be off for the August recess. If not, he needs to hold one hearing during the August recess just like Republicans did during Trump. That would give a hearing to 6 circuit court & 9 district court nominees.

        As for Schumer, the following needs to be done. Starting with next week (We already know this week is blown with him & Leahy out), the following needs to be done weekly. Every Thursday he should start the day off around 10am with a discharge vote. After the 4 hours, between 2pm to 4pm the senate needs to vote for cloture on THREE circuit court nominees. Those three can be confirmed the following Monday (The senate currently votes on a maximum of two nominees so they will need to add a third vote). You could confirm 12 circuit court nominees easily by the end of September with that schedule alone, leaving your the entire month of October to confirm any additional nominees from future batches.

        As for the district court nominees that’s actually pretty easy. They can pick any Tuesday or Wednesday every other week & spend that entire day confirming 5 or 6 of them. In one month you could confirm more then a dozen. That would leave two days one week & another day the alternate week to finish any other senate non judicial related business.

        So there is plenty of time to confirm all current & additional future nominees even before the midterms. Even with them keeping all of their time off it can be down. All it takes is some strategy. Now of course it taking strategy in itself means this senate leadership won’t do it. But just showing you it could be done. Imagine what could be done if they worked one or two Fridays between now & the midterms. But let’s not get crazy & even consider that.

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  5. @ Dequan,

    Perhaps every vacancy can’t be filled by year end, but everyone who has been nominated thus far should be able to be confirmed by year end…….2 more Circuit nominees should have a hearing this week, 2 more end of month…..Then they would clear committee in Mid-Sept…..

    And even if Schumer and Leahy are out all week, they could confirm several this week, most Circuit and District court nominees ready for a vote will get several GOP votes….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hopefully this governor can pick justices better then Cuomo. Her first pick was a black Roman but in her 60’s.

      Any word on the New Jersey vacancies? I know give or Murphy nominated a 41 year old ACLU liberal nominee but she was blocked by her home district state senator. I wish the 3rd circuit had a vacancy. She would be perfect for that.

      Like

  6. Durban filed cloture on some executive nominees today, and I’d expect this week to include a large clearing out of nominees for positions which are largely irrelevant to the American public.

    Like

    • I would assume they are passing Anne Nardacci to keep the Puerto Rico 3 nominees together. If they had put her for this week, the only other district court nominee that could have sat with her would have been Jerry Blackwell. That’s because F. Kay Behm was just announced 12 days ago & nomination was just sent to the senate today. So the choice was either to have all 3 PR nominees this week or only have 2 district court nominees. They can have Nardacci, Blackwell & F. Kay Behm in two weeks along with the two circuit court nominees Brian Garcia & Dana Douglas to keep it 2/3 both week.

      So the short answer to your question is because Biden is slow naming district court nominees. If he had named the 7 California,3 New York, 2 Virginia or any other district court nominees that have been recommended to him, then you could go in order & have 3 per hearing. But when you have this constant drip drip of batches, Durbin has to get creative. Let’s hope in 48 hours we finally get a large batch of at least double digits nominees. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      Liked by 1 person

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