Ruiz was appointed to the bench in 1994. She previously served in the Office of Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia – now the Office of the Attorney General – and co-founded Sloan, Lehner & Ruiz, which later merged with Pepper Hamilton.
She was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday afternoon.
Ruiz has been an active member of the Washington legal community for years, serving as chairwoman of the D.C. Courts’ Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct and as a member of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, the D.C. Bar’s Pro Bono Program Committee, and the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, among other organizations.
On the national stage, Ruiz’s involvement includes serving as the past president of the National Association of Women Judges, as a member of the American Law Institute and as a board member of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
In 2009, the National Law Journal reported that a number of attorneys and judges were discussing Ruiz, a respected jurist, as a possible candidate for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but she was never nominated.
Ruiz did come under fire for what the city’s Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure characterized in 2009 as a “backlog of opinions.” The commission recommended(PDF) her for reappointment when her first term expired in October 2009, but noted that it had received critical comments from several sources about the backlog. An analysis by the National Law Journal in 2010 found that Ruiz took the longest of any D.C. appeals court judge to issue opinions.
Applications for Ruiz’s seat are due by July 15. More information on applying for the vacancy can be found here (PDF).