PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, after Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson, 69, announced her intention to take “senior status” upon the confirmation of her successor, U.S. Senator Jack Reed lauded her faithful, distinguished service as a jurist. 

“Judge Thompson is brilliant, talented, and fair.  I commend her faithful service on the federal bench, which will continue in a new role.  She is an exemplary public servant committed to the noble cause of justice.  Judge Thompson blazed a trail and Rhode Island and the nation will benefit from her continued expertise on the bench,” said Senator Reed. 

Judge Ojetta Rogeriee Thompson is the first Black woman to ever serve on Rhode Island’s District Court and Superior Court.  In 2009, Senator Reed, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, recommended that President Barack Obama nominate then-Rhode Island Superior Court Justice O. Rogeriee Thompson to the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals.  She was nominated by President Obama and then confirmed by the full U.S. Senate in March of 2010, becoming the first Black judge to serve on the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Senior status is a step that allows experienced federal judges who have reached age 70 and have ten years of service on the federal bench to voluntarily take a reduced number of cases to ease the workload of full-time judges.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit is based in Boston and hears appeals from Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Puerto Rico.  Judge Thompson’s decision to take senior judge status means she will continue to hear cases on a more limited basis and opens a judicial position for presidential appointment to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Thompson received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law. She also holds honorary degrees from the University of Rhode Island and Bryant College.