Yesterday, Eric H. Holder Jr., the nation’s first black attorney general, swore in Carmen Milagros Ortiz as the first woman and Hispanic US attorney in Massachusetts. The ceremony was held at the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse before hundreds of judges, dignitaries, lawyers, and supporters of Ortiz.
Holder praised Ortiz as a well-rounded lawyer and a natural leader and said the appointment of the first Latina US attorney in Massachusetts made it a “great day . . . an historic day.”
“Latinas have done pretty well over the last few months, and deservedly so,” he said, an apparent reference to appointees such as Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the US Supreme Court.
Ortiz, who rose from humble roots in New York City’s tough Spanish Harlem neighborhood and raised two daughters alone after her husband died of cancer in 2000, told the audience that “preventing acts of terrorism remains the first priority of this office.” But she pledged to do so without violating civil liberties.