Saturday, April 20, 2024

Senate Confirms Latina Judicial Nominee

On Tuesday afternoon, Senators confirmed the judicial nomination of Marisa Demeo, a Latina and an openly gay candidate for the D.C. Superior Court. Republicans had been blocking her confirmation since she nomination to the bench by President Obama in March 2009.

Demeo was one of a number of judicial appointees that has been stalled by Republican senators using a variety of arguments against purported activism.  In her case, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who led the opposition, cited what he called, “a history of very leftist activism.”

The socially conservative group, Traditional Values Coalition, published a letter urging the Senate to reject Demeo’s nomination labeling her “an open, radical lesbian” who “claims that LGBT individuals are equal to racial minorities and can claim protection as minorities under our civil rights laws.”

Born in Washington, DC, Demeo is a graduate of Princeton University.  Following her distinguished work as a paralegal in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, she was selected for a Root Tilden scholarship at the NYU School of Law.

She dedicated much of her early professional career to advocacy on behalf of the Latino and gay communities including working for the AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund and Texas Rural Legal Aid.  She also headed the Washington office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF).  Returning to public service, Demeo prosecuted misdemeanor and felony cases as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and has been as an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Law.

In nominating her, President Obama stated that Demeo would be an esteemed and eminent addition to the DC Superior Court.

The 66-32 confirmation vote confirming was largely partisan.

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