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Cenzon receives overwhelming support

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Attorney Maria Cenzon is well on her way to being the island's next superior court judge. During her confirmation hearing this morning she received overwhelming support for her nomination. 

Senator Chris Duenas summed it up, saying, "You certainly brought out the who's who today."

Kicking the confirmation hearing for Cenzon to serve as a Superior Court judge was chief justice of the Supreme Court Of Guam F. Philip Carbullido who listed off the virtues of a good judge such as the Virtue of Independence, courtesy and patience, the virtue of dignity, open mindedness, impartiality and the virtue of an understanding heart. "I personally feel that Maria has the professional qualifications, demeanor and character to be a fair and impartial judge," he said.

Her peers in the Guam Bar Association echo those sentiments, as revealed in a poll among active members. Guam Bar president Attorney Cynthia Ecube said Cenzon "received one of the top highest votes in support from the Bar."

Although he told senators he doesn't usually provide testimony for judicial nominees - Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas appeared before lawmakers this morning speaking about his experiences and interactions with the Attorney Cenzon in her capacity as the governor's legal counsel. "I saw someone who stepped into a legal hornet's nest and make her way through the many issues confronting that office. I saw someone quickly picking up where her predecessor left off without skipping a beat," he noted.

Cenzon has been practicing law on Guam for 17 years. She graduated with a bachelor of arts, majoring in English and minoring in business administration, criminology and philosophy in 1992 from Marquette University. She received her law degree in 1996 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She's worked at several local law firms including serving as partner in the Commercial Transactions Division of Mair, Mair, Spade and Thompson and partner at Cabot Mantanona and Carlsmith Ball. Prior to serving in the Calvo Administration as Governor Eddie Calvo's legal counsel she served as director of policy, planning & community relations for the Unified Judiciary of Guam.

"In these various capacities I have been exposed to the law in all of its various forms, from its conception, enactment applicant and now hopefully to its interpretation. Each stop on this journey has given me a new perspective on the rule of law including the human consequences of its application," Cenzon said.

Attorney Cenzon, if confirmed, will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Elizabeth Barret Anderson. She told lawmakers this morning she's ready. She announced, "I promise you this: I will be dedicated I will be fair, I will be impartial, I will administer swift and efficient justice with compassion for the humanity that it effects. You should demand nothing less and I will provide nothing less. "

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