In a formal investiture ceremony held at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in downtown Denver on Aug. 13, the Hon. Regina M. Rodriguez was feted by local dignitaries and family after being officially sworn into office on July 1 by Chief Judge Phillip A. Brimmer.
Rodriguez, 58, was nominated to the court by President Joe Biden, his first judicial appointee for Colorado, on April 19; she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8 by a vote of 72-28.
Joining her family in attendance at the ceremony were U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (who, along with Sen. John Hickenlooper, recommended her candidacy to the vacant seat on the seven-member trial court for the District of Colorado), Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, JACL Executive Director David Inoue and four of the seven state Supreme Court justices.
During her Senate confirmation hearing in April, Rodriguez, the daughter of a Mexican American father and Japanese American mother, spoke of her family’s World War II incarceration in Wyoming and the path to her decades-long professional law career.
“My grandmother had heard that there was still discrimination against Japanese in California. But she heard that the governor in Colorado (Ralph L. Carr) was welcoming. So they moved the family to Colorado in Denver, and that has been the beginning of the legacy there,” said Rodriguez during her hearing.
Rodriguez formerly worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado and most recently served as partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Door, LLP, from 2019-21. In 1985, she earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors, from the University of Iowa and, in 1988, received her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law.