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Cecilia Maria Altonaga
Altonaga.jpg
Judge on United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 7, 2003
Nominated by George W. Bush
Preceded by Shelby Highsmith
Personal details
Born (1962-12-26) December 26, 1962 (age 51)
Baltimore, Maryland
Alma mater Florida International University

Cecilia Maria Altonaga (born December 26, 1962) is a Florida United States district court judge. She is the first Cuban-American woman to be appointed as a federal judge in the United States.

Biography[edit]

Altonaga was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and is an alumnus of Florida International University, where she received her B.A. in 1983. She graduated from the Yale Law School in 1986. She worked as an attorney in the Miami Dade County Attorney's Office from 1986–1987, and then served as a law clerk to Edward B. Davis of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida from 1987-88 before returning to the County Attorney's Office until 1996. In 1996, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed her as a County Court Judge on Florida's Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court. In 1999, she was elevated to Circuit Court Judge in that district by Governor Jeb Bush.

She was nominated for a seat on U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by George W. Bush on January 15, 2003, to a seat vacated by Shelby Highsmith. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 6, 2003, and received her commission the following day. During her time on the federal bench, Altonaga has been noted for her strong support of the recently created Florida International University College of Law, having served as the keynote speaker in the 2004 Convocation, judged several moot court competitions, and employed FIU law students as summer interns.

Supreme Court speculation[edit]

In July 2005, following the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Judge Altonaga's name was raised as a potential George W. Bush Supreme Court candidate, a position for which she was promoted by Florida's Hispanic community. However, it would be a very rare occurrence for a sitting District Court judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court. At 43, Altonaga was younger than most other Hispanics or women who were being mentioned as possible nominees, which might have made her a more attractive choice to the President. However, President Bush went through several other nominees, and nominated Judge Samuel Alito for the position.

Notable Rulings[edit]

On June 14, 2007, Altonaga ruled that US Sugar Corporation's practice of pumping untreated wastewater into Lake Okeechobee was in violation of the Clean Water Act. Largely as a result of this decision, on June 25, 2008 the state of Florida announced plans to purchase 300 square miles (780 km2) of land controlled by US Sugar, which will be used to restore vital water flow between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades National Park, helping to ensure its survival in the face of competition for water from surrounding development.[1]

She also presided over the trial of Charles McArthur Emmanuel, son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, for torture.[2]

In September 2006, Sheikh Mohammed was accused of encouraging the abduction and enslavement of thousands of boys for use as jockeys in camel races. A class-action suit was filed in the state of Florida in the United States.[3][4][5][6] In July 2007, Judge Altonaga granted a motion to dismiss the suit because none of the involved parties resided in the United States.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schor, Elana (2008-06-24). "Florida to buy 187,000 farmland acres to preserve Everglades". Guardian. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Curt (2009-01-09). "Taylor's son gets 97 years in prison for torture". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-01-09. [dead link]
  3. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2006-09-15). "Dubai princes accused of masterminding trade in jockey slaves". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  4. ^ "Dubai's ruler accused of slavery". BBC News. 2006-09-14. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  5. ^ A Dubai Leader Faces Charges of Enslavement - September 14, 2007 - The New York Sun
  6. ^ Cover Bio from Current Biography Monthly Magazine - April 2008

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Shelby Highsmith
Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
2003–present
Incumbent

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecilia_Altonaga — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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163 news items

MiamiHerald.com

MiamiHerald.com
Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:56:15 -0800

During Friday's hearing, Nuñez made it clear to U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga that he was not present at those meetings when Bosch injected the players. As part of his plea agreement, he admitted distributing less than 1,000 units of ...

MiamiHerald.com

MiamiHerald.com
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:27:26 -0800

25 before U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga. The judge granted the 51-year-old Brazilian citizen a $150,000 bond without having to wear an electronic monitor. “I will give him some freedom so he can enjoy his family before sentencing,” Altonaga told ...

Daily Business Review (registration)

Daily Business Review (registration)
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:18:45 -0800

Because the tribe has also filed a similar argument in the case with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga said her hands were tied, and she would wait for a ruling from the higher court. The IRS ...

MiamiHerald.com

MiamiHerald.com
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:15:49 -0800

Earlier, inside the courtroom, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga questioned one of the juror's about her vote, after the 12-person panel was polled, because she seemed unclear about her decision following the five-week trial. “In the end, we all ...
 
Daily Business Review (registration)
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:40:21 -0800

A federal judge has ordered Miccosukee tribal chairman Colley Billie to appear in court and explain why he hasn't turned over tax documents sought by the Internal Revenue Service. The order by U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Miami is the latest ...
 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:18:45 -0800

MIAMI (AP) — A South Florida man is headed to prison for life after being found guilty of killing an associate-turned-government witness and then burning his body. U. S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga imposed the maximum sentence on Wednesday in Miami.

CBS Local

CBS Local
Fri, 28 Nov 2014 05:52:30 -0800

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man convicted of killing an associate-turned-government witness and then burning his body is headed to prison for life. U. S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga imposed the maximum sentence on Wednesday in Miami.

Local 10

MiamiHerald.com
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:55:47 -0800

In September, a federal jury found the 26-year-old Campo guilty of conspiracy, first-degree murder, obstruction of justice, firearms trafficking and unlawful possession of a weapon as a fugitive. U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga gave Campo the ...
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