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President Barack Obama has nominated Judge Ramona Manglona (`96) to the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. She has served as an associate judge with the Superior Court for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) since 2003.
Manglona's nomination, which must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, marks the first time a CNMI citizen has been nominated by a U.S. president to serve on the U.S. District Court. She would also become the first woman to serve as a federal district court judge in the commonwealth.
After earning her J.D. in 1996, Manglona returned to her island home where she served as a law clerk in the Commonwealth Superior Court. From 1998 to 2002, she was an assistant attorney general in both the criminal and civil divisions of the CNMI Office of the Attorney General. In 2002, she became deputy attorney general, before being promoted later that year to attorney general. Manglona was the first woman originally from the CNMI to serve as attorney general, a position she held until being named a judge in 2003.
From 2004 to 2008, she also served as a justice pro tempore and judge pro tempore with the Guam Supreme Court and the Guam Superior Court. Prior to becoming a judge, Manglona served the NMI Bar Association in different capacities – as president, treasurer and director.
Providing A Pre-law Primer
Emeritus Professor Robert Desiderio has played a role in steering residents of the Northern Mariana Islands toward a career in the law. In 1991, he established a pre-law summer program on Saipan, and a member of that first class was Ramona Manglona.
Since that first year, he has returned seven times to lead students through a three-week-long law-school primer. In 2005, Emeritus Professor Fred Hart accompanied him to teach the course. Of the 80 students who have completed the course, 26 have continued on to law school, including a number who have graduated from the UNM School of Law.
Additional members of the 1991 Summer Pre-law Program who went on to the UNM School of Law were Mary Lou Sirok (`94), Jose Bermudez (`95) and Perry Inos (`94). In 2008, after years in private practice, Inos was appointed to the Commonwealth Superior Court where he serves as an associate judge.
June 24, 2011