Gov. Eloy S. Inos swore in the latest member of the CNMI Supreme Court, Associate Justice Perry B. Inos, within an hour after the Senate confirmed his nomination Friday morning. Senators also confirmed the nomination of Douglas Hartig as the CNMI's Public Defender.
Senators confirmed Inos and Hartig by a vote of 8-0 each.
That was a day after the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations held a public hearing on their nominations by former governor Benigno R. Fitial.
Hartig is a former assistant public defender and Inos is a former Superior Court associate judge.
“I am happy about this. Finally the waiting is over,” Inos told reporters shortly after he took his oath of office in the governor's conference room little past 12pm Friday.
Inos now joins Chief Justice Alexandro Castro and Associate Justice John Manglona.
The newly sworn in associate justice is a nephew of the new governor.
In January 2010, the then associate judge administered the oath of office for his uncle, who became an elected lieutenant governor in November 2009.
During Friday's ceremony, the nephew said he and his uncle are now “even,” drawing laughs from the crowd.
Present at the swearing-in were members of the Judiciary, Inos's family, friends and other government officials.
The new Supreme Court associate justice's ascension has left a vacancy in the Superior Court.
The governor, in a separate interview, said that vacancy will be filled. He, however, said that he will consult with Presiding Judge Robert Naraja to ask about workload and backlog, and whether the vacancy needs to be filled “right away.”