Governor Raimondo announces groundbreaking judicial nominations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Governor Gina Raimondo announced her nominees for the judicial vacancies on the Rhode Island Supreme court, Superior Court, Family court, and Workers’ Compensation Court on Tuesday.

The governor made history, appointing the first person of color to the Rhode Island Supreme Court, first Asian-American to the Rhode Island Superior Court, first Latina to the Rhode Island Family Court, and first majority-female Supreme Court in Rhode Island history.

Melissa A. Long is the first person of color to be nominated to the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Long currently serves as an Associate Justice to the Rhode Island Superior Court. She was also the Deputy Secretary of State and Director of Administration in the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State.

Erica Lynch Prata is being nominated to the Rhode Island Supreme Court as well. Lynch Prata was a member of the Rhode Island State Senate and was the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Linda Rekas Sloan is the first Asian-American to be nominated to the Rhode Island Superior Court. She has over 30 years of legal experience and is a graduate of Providence College and the Boston University School of Law.

Richard D. Raspallo is also being nominated to the Rhode Island Superior Court. Raspallo has served as a Superior Court Magistrate since 2017. He has worked as legal counsel to the Rhode Island General Assembly as well.

Elizabeth Ortiz is the first Latina to be nominated to Rhode Island Family Court. Ortiz is a first-generation Colombian-American and is currently a Municipal Judge in Central Falls Supreme Court.

Kevin Reall is being nominated to the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court. Reall has worked for the Rhode Island General Assembly and clerked for both the Rhode Island Supreme Court and Providence Housing Court.

Governor Raimondo is excited to appoint such a diverse group to the state’s highest courts.

“As Governor, one of my most important and sacred responsibilities is to appoint high-caliber judges who reflect the diversity of the Rhode Islanders they serve. I am confident that each of these nominees will fairly and honorably uphold the laws and values of our state,” said Raimondo.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: Regional News, Rhode Island