District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin will retire Feb. 29, according to a press release (PDF) today from the District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission.
Mitchell-Rankin was appointed to Superior Court in 1990 and is currently assigned to the domestic relations branch of Family Court. The nomination commission is seeking nominations of attorneys to fill her seat; applications are due Jan. 30.
To apply for Mitchell-Rankin's seat, attorneys must be an active member of the D.C. Bar and have been practicing law in the District for at least five years. Eligible applicants also have to live in the District. More information is available here.
Before joining the court, Mitchell-Rankin, who is married to fellow Superior Court Judge Michael Rankin, worked in the District’s U.S. attorney’s office and the Justice Department. On the bench, she served in the criminal, civil and family divisions. She was not immediately available for comment.
Mitchell-Rankin, according to previous coverage in Legal Times, had a reputation as a “no-nonsense” judge. She came under fire in 2007 for comments about El Salvadoran culture that the D.C. Public Defender Service said indicated she might hold a bias against an El Salvdoran defendant. The District of Columbia Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure later found that Mitchell-Rankin did not harbor a bias, but nevertheless violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by creating the appearance of bias.
In other local judicial news, four senior judges in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and Superior Court are up for review, according to the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.
D.C. Court of Appeals Senior Judge John Terry and Superior Court Senior Judges Richard Levie, Nan Shuker, and Robert Tignor have requested reappointment. The disabilities and tenure commission is accepting feedback until Jan. 9.