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Investiture Judge Bogdan

Investiture Ceremony for the Honorable Wesley M. Bogdan Associate Judge of the CNMI Superior Court


The investiture ceremony for the Honorable Wesley M. Bogdan, Associate Judge of the CNMI Superior Court, was held on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, in the Supreme Court Courtroom. In attendance were his wife, Mrs. Tomoko K. Bogdan, father-in-law, Nobuhisa Kawakata, friends, and representatives from the three branches of the CNMI government. Visiting jurists Chief Justice Katherine A. Maraman of the Supreme Court of Guam, Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona, and Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy of the U.S. District Court for the NMI, and Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the U.S. District Court of Guam joined the proceeding. Former Associate Justice Jesus C. Borja, former Associate Judge Herbert D. Soll and former Associate Judge Timothy H. Bellas were also in attendance.

The CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro, in his welcoming remarks, thanked those who had gathered to bear witness to the ascension of the newest member of the Superior Court bench, the Honorable Wesley Mathew Bogdan, who replaces retired Associate Judge David A. Wiseman. Stressing the important role judges play in our society, the Chief Justice quoted Alexander Hamilton, “there is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers.” Chief Justice Castro noted that judges interpret the law, weigh the evidence presented, and control how hearings and trials unfold in their courtrooms, but most importantly, judges are impartial decision makers in the pursuit of justice.

The Chief Justice then recognized Matthew Deleon Guerrero, Governor Ralph DLG Torres’ Chief of Staff, who introduced his former colleague, stating that in working with Wesley Bogdan he had learned much about service and integrity toward a greater goal. “To me,” Matthew said, “Wes epitomizes the essence of public service – fighting for what is right even in the face of great challenges and oversized adversaries, and doing so with a firm understanding and appreciation for the trust that is placed on each and every public servant.”

After administering the oath of office to Judge Bogdan, Governor Torres spoke about the special contribution his former legal counsel and senior policy advisor, Wesley Bogdan, had made particularly with respect to military affairs, assisting for example with the location and construction of the United States Air Force’s Divert Project and the United States Marine Corps CNMI Joint Military Training Project.

Judge Bogdan recounted in his judicial address how leaving behind his work as a lawyer and counsel to the Office of the Governor and assuming the position of an associated judge was bittersweet. It meant leaving a place where he had great friendships and experiences, including representing the CNMI in the most recent Covenant Section 902 Consultations. “More than anything” the judge said, “it has been a privilege to see the torch of leadership and responsibility passing to the younger generation of local Chamorro and Carolinians and to people like myself—who might not historically be from the CNMI, but who live here, love it here and are proud to call the CNMI home. I truly believe that the Senate’s confirmation process reflects the character of all the people of the Northern Mariana Island and proves what a great community we have.”

Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja concluded the ceremony, congratulating and welcoming Judge Bogdan and offering four principles to follow to be a successful judge: hear courteously, answer wisely, consider soberly, and decide impartially.

The Judiciary extends its appreciation to the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Dolphin Battalion, Marianas High School for the posting of Colors; Office of Adult Probation Officers Sophia C. Geisinger and Michael B. Salas for singing the National and Commonwealth Anthems; Father James S. Balajadia, Chancellor, Diocese of Chalan Kanoa for the Invocation; and Pastor Fredrick Fatialofa of Grace Christian Tanapag Assembly for the Benediction.

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