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Cecilia Maria Altonaga
Cecilia Altonaga.jpg
Judge of United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Assumed office
May 7, 2003
Nominated by George W. Bush
Preceded by Shelby Highsmith
Personal details
Born (1962-12-26) December 26, 1962 (age 53)
Baltimore, Maryland
Alma mater Florida International University, Yale Law School

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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9 videos found

255 news items

Daily Business Review (registration)

Daily Business Review (registration)
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:15:01 -0700

U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in Miami had reduced the judgment for a bad-faith involuntary bankruptcy filing to $360,000. The Eleventh Circuit didn't address the merits of Altonaga's ruling because the case should never have gotten that far ...
 
Courthouse News Service
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 13:37:30 -0700

MIAMI (CN) - The Coca-Cola Co. successfully argued for a change of venue for a pending patent infringement case because most of the allegations involve its Atlanta headquarters, not its tenuous connections to South Florida, a federal judge ruled.

Miami Herald

Miami Herald
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 16:55:24 -0700

In July 2014, U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga said Baston has a “deviant” and “delusional” personality with a “warped sense of reality.” She sentenced him to 27 years in prison. The court at the time ordered Baston to pay three women restitution ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Mon, 21 Dec 2015 10:01:51 -0800

The detainees being held at the Krome detention center can be fed against their will through nasal-gastric tubes if necessary to save their lives, Judge Cecilia Altonaga has ruled. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images. Associated Press in Miami. Monday 21 ...
 
Miami Today
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 07:38:35 -0800

As the first Cuban-American woman to serve as a federal judge, Cecilia Altonaga is breaking new ground. "Every time I achieved what I set out to do I saw myself not only as a Cuban-American, but as a woman opening doors," she said. "It's important for ...

ElTiempo.com

ElTiempo.com
Sat, 09 Apr 2016 22:57:53 -0700

Aunque el jurado declaró inocente a Martínez, en un polémico fallo cuestionado por la juez Cecilia Altonaga, este salió del ICE. La Fiscalía no tiene duda de que el carro caleta se relaciona con una red de lavadores de la mafia que se mueve en Bogotá, ...

Miami Herald

Miami Herald
Sat, 02 Jan 2016 13:52:42 -0800

Utsick's defense team has had no luck with U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga in seeking to block certain evidence at trial, including the impact of Utsick's alleged theft on his investment victims. Among them: a couple who lost their home that was ...

Miami Herald

Miami Herald
Tue, 02 Feb 2016 09:29:41 -0800

Conover's defense attorney, Pat Dray, declined to comment after Tuesday's plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga. Ordering synthetic drugs such as Molly or flakka from China has become big business in South Florida, especially for ...
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