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.
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.
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).
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.
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.