Nearly two years after Sonia Sotomayor ’76 was sworn in as the first Latina justice on the Supreme Court, another Princeton alumna is on the verge of making history in the U.S. legal system. In May, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ’87, an Alameda County (Calif.) Superior Court judge, was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and last week, Gonzalez Rogers passed muster with the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed by the full Senate, she’ll become the Northern District’s first Latina judge.
Gonzalez Rogers, who majored in politics at Princeton, earned her J.D. from the University of Texas and practiced law for a dozen years at Cooley LLP in San Francisco, making partner at the firm. She joined the California state court system in 2008, receiving her nomination from then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., had high praise for Gonzalez Rogers, calling her “an American success story” in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing July 13. “Her path in life has been extraordinary, rising from modest beginnings to graduating from one of the best universities in the country, Princeton,” Feinstein said. “During school breaks and weekends she worked cleaning housing, and cutting grass to help pay her tuition. She took pride in the calloused hands she got doing that work.”
Gonzalez Rogers was joined at the hearing by her husband, Matt Rogers ’85, their three children, and several family members who made the trip from Gonzalez Rogers’ home state of Texas.
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