Senators approved Maite Oronoz Rodríguez’s nomination by a 14-12 vote margin.
Rodríguez has been a member of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court since 2014. She will become the first openly LGBT chief justice in the U.S.
“The confirmation of Maite Oronoz Rodríguez as the first openly LGBT chief justice in Puerto Rico and the United States makes history, breaks barriers, and marks a momentous step towards achieving a judiciary that reflects full and rich diversity of our country,” Omar Gonzalez-Pagan of Lambda Legal told the Washington Blade in a statement. “A diverse judiciary serves not only to improve the quality of justice, it boosts public confidence in the courts.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla nominated Oronoz earlier this month.
“The Judicial Branch is in the hands of a first rate jurist, who is part of our country’s new generation of leaders,” said García on Monday, according to the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día.