Four of the 13 black women in Florida who were sworn in last week to represent matters before the US Supreme Court have made history. They are from Jamaica.
Together with Maxine Williams, a magistrate, and Allison Smith, an attorney at law, the Jamaicans also include judges Maxine Cheeman and Cymonie Rowe.
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They took their oaths of office before the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
Eight of the other women are attorneys, while five of the women are judges. They have been added to the elite group of eminent attorneys from all throughout the nation who are qualified to present matters before the US Supreme Court.
Cheesman beamingly said, “This was historic as never before has such a large group of black women come to the US Supreme Court to be inducted.” It was also a significant accomplishment for the State of Florida.
Although attorneys are employed by the US Supreme Court, they serve as the nine justices’ research assistants. These law clerks are ineligible to represent anybody before the Supreme Court.
Yet those who come before the country’s top court, like the 13 who were sworn in this week, must first fulfill specific requirements.
It should be noted that until they are no longer judges, judges like Cheesman cannot practice law or present matters before the Supreme Court. After leaving the bench, they eagerly await this prestigious position.
Cheesman was appointed to the bench six years ago and presides over Florida’s civil courts. She is accustomed to making waves in the legal community. She was chosen as Palm Beach County’s first black female Circuit Court judge after being born and reared in Kingston. She has dealt with a variety of situations, including real estate, probate, and contracts.
Cheesman received a commendation from the Legal Aid Association of Palm Beach County in 2012 for her pro bono efforts.
Cheesman, a former scientist, switched to the legal field 16 years ago. She hopes to make significant improvements in the legal sector at the age of 67.
“To be a judge is the best way to serve the people. As a judge, I do my best to understand the issues and be fair and impartial,” she stated.
Mona earned a first-class degree from the University of the West Indies. She moved to Miami in 1979 together with her family.
She subsequently earned a degree from Nova Southeastern University. She also belongs to the Sherrie Davis Cunningham Black Women Attorneys Association of Palm Beach County.
When asked if she wanted to be on the US Supreme Court, Cheesman chuckled and said she saw herself working to support marginalized areas and encourage other women to pursue law degrees.