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Latinos for a Fair Judiciary, MALDEF, LatinoJustice, the Hispanic National Bar Association and NHLA Hold Call to Announce Opposition to All Court of Appeals Nominees Put Forth by Trump and to Denounce Lack of Latino Nominees

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Latinos for a Fair Judiciary, MALDEF, LatinoJustice, the Hispanic National Bar Association and NHLA Hold Call to Announce Opposition to All Court of Appeals Nominees Put Forth by Trump and to Denounce Lack of Latino Nominees

Location: 
Washington, DC

On November 2nd, Latinos for a Fair Judiciary, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) held a media call to announce opposition to all court of appeals nominees put forth by Donald J. Trump unless and until he puts forth a well-qualified Latino candidate. The media call highlighted continuing efforts to hold the current Administration accountable and the importance of the Nov. 6 midterm elections, given the U.S. Senate’s role in confirming nominees to the federal bench.

“The total absence of Latinos and Latinas from appointment to any of the important courts of appeals in the federal judicial system is an astounding step backward,” said Thomas A. Saenz, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund). “This reversion to a long-ago era of exclusion has nothing to do with national greatness; it is in fact a stain on our constitutional democracy that Latino voters can no longer tolerate.”

“The answer to how Latinas & Latinos are doing when discussing judicial diversity in the federal courts and particularly in the circuit courts of appeal? We are doing horribly. President Trump has been the worst president in decades in terms of the minimal number of Latinx federal judicial appointments, zero in terms of the circuit courts,” said Jose L. Perez, deputy general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “How can our community have confidence in the court system when the increasing composition of our judiciary is a reflection of the president “looking in the mirror” and does not reflect the rich diversity and tapestry of the Latinx community itself.”

“If we recall sadly the comments Trump made against US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in the case he was presiding before Trump where he essentially said he did not have confidence in him because of his Mexican heritage- that is the epitome of racism,” said Maria Cardona, co-founder of Latinos for a Fair Judiciary. “So when you have someone like that as Commander in Chief it is no surprise he has not nominated any Latinos to any judgeships or positions in the circuit courts. These are incredibly important and influential positions. This is why elections are so important. It is important for Latinos to come out and vote.”

“The current composition of the federal bench and pending judicial nominees do not reflect the diversity of the communities they serve,” said Jennifer Salinas, National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association. “To the extent that this Administration is having difficulty locating qualified Latino candidates, we ask them and Senators to use HNBA as a resource, as they have done in the past. The HNBA calls on this President to nominate a greater number of Latino attorneys to fill judicial vacancies and to fully support the confirmation of Latino judicial candidates in a number that is not only commensurate with the Latino lawyer population but shows greater parity with the total Latino U.S. population.”

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Contact: Christiaan Perez, cperez@latinojustice.org, 212-739-7581

Andrea Nill Sanchez, anillsanchez@rabengroup.com, 917-727-7396