Thursday, December 8, 2011
Bar Association Leaders Urge Appointment of Latino Judge
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Leaders of five Latino bar associations have called on President Obama and Sen. Dianne Feinstein to give consideration to Latino candidates for U.S. district judge for the Central District of California.
In a letter dated Monday, the heads of the Mexican-American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the La Raza Lawyers Association of California reiterated concerns they had raised in a similar communiqué sent in May, which noted that “Latinos are California’s and the Central District’s largest minority group” but they are not represented on the federal court bench.
They applauded Sen. Barbara Boxer’s recent recommendation of a Latino who would likely sit in Riverside, but emphasized in their most recent letter that “there still have been no Latinos appointed to the Los Angeles Division of the Central District—by far the largest Division in the Central District.”
If Boxer’s nominee is appointed, the bar leaders said, “that will leave the Central District with only three Latino district judges, two of whom were appointed by former President Bush.”
They pointed out that the elevation of District Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, if confirmed by the Senate, will create a vacancy in Los Angeles, which will be the seventh district judge position in the Central District of California during Obama’s presidency.
“We urge Senator Feinstein to follow Senator Boxer’s lead and recommend the first Latino District Judge for the Los Angeles Division of the Central District” to “address the critical gap in the Central District federal bench,” the bar leaders concluded.
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