Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Full Circle Moment for Judge Cortes CONGRATS


The life of California's Yolo County’s first Latina judge, Sonia Cortes, has now come full circle with her official “robing.”

Cortes, the daughter of farm workers and a Winters High School graduate who went on to obtain a legal degree and become an attorney, took the oath of office before a capacity crowd in the auditorium of Pioneer High School Friday night.

“Those ambitions led my parents to settle in a small house in Winters where they would work in the fields, pick crops and think about the future of their three daughters,” she said. ... The family moved to Yolo Housing — the same migrant housing she would one day be put in charge of successfully reorganizing — “where I would watch rerun episodes of Perry Mason and think I one day, too, would be a lawyer.”

“And my road leads me to this moment, where the governor has appointed me. And here I am before you the first Latina to be appointed a judge in Yolo County,” she said. “Today is an
honor ... but more than an honor it’s an obligation, an obligation to fulfill the duties entrusted to me, to turn the wheels justice, to create an atmosphere where both sides are heard in a dignified manner and being accurate and skilled in my decisions.

“Let me clear,” Cortes continued. “I am committed to carrying out my duties with fairness, impartiality with absence of bias. I am determined to have a courtroom which exemplifies patience, dignity and courtesy for all those who appear before the bench ... So, yes, today is an honor and today represents an obligation to apply the law impartially. But today is also about a promise, a promise I made to myself as a young girl to give back to the community and society that has supported me and my family.