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Latino leaders praise confirmation of Gabriel Sanchez to the Ninth Circuit

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For Immediate Release: January 12, 2022
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Chris Lechuga   ⃒ 915-274-2407  ⃒[email protected] 

 

Latino leaders praise confirmation of Gabriel Sanchez to the Ninth Circuit
Latino organizations press White House and the Senate to further prioritize Latinos nominees in 2022

 

Washington, DC — Today, Latinos for a Fair Judiciary (LFJ) and several of its partners — including prominent Latino legal and civil rights organizations — commend the Senate for confirming Judge Gabriel Sanchez to the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit. The groups applaud the Biden administration for keeping its promise of prioritizing the nomination of diverse legal professionals, women, and qualified people of color to the many federal court vacancies, and welcome the confirmation of Judge Sanchez as an important step towards rectifying the serious underrepresentation of Latinos on the federal bench. The groups also urge both the Senate and the White House to place extra focus on nominating and confirming Latino judicial nominees this year so that judges on our federal courts reflect the size and growth of the Latino population in the U.S. 

“The confirmation of Judge Gabriel Sanchez is a step in the right direction toward equitable representation on the federal bench. While we have seen movement toward greater diversity, nominations have not kept pace with the growth of the Latinx population in this country,” said Lourdes M. Rosado, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Judge Sanchez’s judicial record reflects the diverse and unique perspective of Latinxs in this country, and his confirmation would put us one step closer to a more just and representative federal bench. We look forward to seeing the nomination and appointment of more people of color to our federal benches this new year.” 

Judge Sanchez, who began his career in the Ninth Circuit as a clerk for the Honorable Richard A. Paez, played a significant role in reforming California's criminal justice system during his service in state government. As a Justice in the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District since 2018, he has authored or joined nearly 500 opinions in a wide array of legal issues. Thanks to his public service, lived experiences, and legal background — which also includes winning improved safety protections for California farmworkers — Judge Sanchez will sharpen the Ninth Circuit’s jurisprudence, especially on issues that impact people of color and Latinos in particular. 

Although this progress is welcome, LFJ and its partners believe more action is needed to make up for all the ground lost during the Trump administration in Latino representation on the courts. Leaders must ensure there is equitable Latino representation in key federal courts throughout the country, especially by Senators in states where the Latino population grew significantly in the last decade. Considering the capacity that many Latino communities have across the nation to tip midterm election results in either direction, LFJ will continue to press the Senate to demonstrate to Latino voters that they are prioritizing identifying, nominating, and confirming qualified Latinos to the federal bench. 

“Today, we know Latino communities will play a decisive role in the midterm elections. With many Latino policy priorities around immigration, health care, and education stalled, this is a chance to acknowledge and promote the representation of the second largest racial or ethnic group in the nation in the judicial branch,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Executive Director and CEO of Mi Familia Vota. “As such, we praise the confirmation of Gabriel Sanchez as a classic example of a supremely qualified Latino jurist who will bring more professional balance, subject-matter diversity, and lived experience to the Ninth Circuit. While we applaud his confirmation and the rapid progress the White House and Senate has made in appointing more women, people of color, and diverse legal professionals to the bench, we will continue to push for more. To win in the midterms, Latinos must see greater inclusion and an effort to break down the systemic exclusion of our community in the government and judiciary.”

Latino organizations also pledged to call on Senate members to implement a more fair, transparent, and equitable process for submitting names for judicial consideration so that Latinos, other communities of color, and women receive equal consideration for federal judiciary posts.

“We are thrilled to see the Biden administration appoint a judge with Gabriel Sanchez’s credentials — which includes not only his lived experiences as a Latino, but also his professional track record in fighting for civil rights, criminal justice reform, and worker protections,” said Andrea Nill Sanchez, Director of Latinos for a Fair Judiciary. “As the White House and Senate continue to break records confirming more diverse judges in 2022, they need to place extra focus on appointing more qualified Latinos like Judge Sanchez to ensure our community’s growth and perspectives are reflected on the bench after being neglected by the Trump administration. This will require both increased, proactive outreach and a deliberate effort by Senate members to demystify the overwhelmingly opaque, exclusive, and closed processes through which they identify potential judicial candidates.”

For more information about LFJ, visit www.latinosforafairjudiciary.org.

 

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Latinos for a Fair Judiciary (LFJ) provides Latino leaders across the nation a platform and voice in matters related to our nation’s judicial system. We are a nonpartisan group with a mission to raise public awareness around the pressing legal issues Latinos are facing and call attention to the significance of the federal judiciary. As part of our work, LFJ partners with elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders who care deeply about the impact that federal courts have on the Latino community.