The Washington Post

D.C. Court of Appeals judge Vanessa Ruiz to retire

D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Vanessa Ruiz will retire in August, court officials announced Tuesday.

Ruiz, 61, who was appointed to the court in 1994 by President Clinton, is the District’s former corporation counsel, the office now called attorney general.

In 2009, the Puerto Rican native and Georgetown Law Center graduate was endorsed for a promotion to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She did not obtain the position.

That same year, a review by the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure — which announced Ruiz’s retirement Tuesday — issued a review that said Ruiz had an excessive backlog of undecided cases.

In the review, commission officials wrote that Ruiz’s backlog was “the highest by far” of any appellate judge on the court. That same year, the commission reappointed Ruiz to a second 15-year-term with a "well qualified" rating.

Ruiz’s retirement is effective Aug. 31. Commission officials have 60 days from the date of her retirement to submit to three names as nominees for replacement to the District’s highest court to President Obama.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.


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