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Leading Latino Organizations’ Joint Statement on Justice Breyer’s Retirement from the Supreme Court

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Release
January 27, 2022
 

Press Contacts:
Chris Lechuga |
[email protected]| 915-274 – 2407
Sarai Bejarano | Manager of Traditional & Digital Media | [email protected] | 212-739-7581

 

Leading Latino Organizations’ Joint Statement on Justice Breyer’s Retirement from the Supreme Court
 
Latino leaders thank Justice Breyer for service and advocate for a diverse Biden nominee dedicated to equal justice

Washington, DC — In light of yesterday’s announcement that Justice Stephen Breyer will be retiring from the Supreme Court, Latinos for a Fair Judiciary (LFJ) and its partners — Voto Latino, LatinoJustice, Mi Familia Vota and UnidosUS —  thank Justice Breyer for his commitment to civil and equal rights during his 27 years of service on the nation’s highest court. His retirement now presents President Biden’s first opportunity to nominate a qualified candidate who will defend the rights of all people — regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or economic status — for the next generation.

"While Presidents face limits on how long they can serve in office, Supreme Court Justices serve for life. We've seen how President Trump's nominees have twisted the law to limit access to the ballot box and undermine key civil rights protections,” said Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino. “President Biden's nominee won't change the ideological balance of the court, but it's still an opportunity to send a strong signal about his commitment to building a country that truly lives up to its promise of equal justice for all. We urge him to move quickly to nominate a jurist who will uphold the rights of all people — including immigrants, women, voters and the entire Latino community."

Breyer joined in key decisions that have impacted the Latino community, including stripping most of Arizona’s racist and anti-Latino immigration law in 2012 and upholding affirmative action that has allowed more Latinos to pursue higher education. More recently, he sided with the majority in landmark cases that struck down the Trump administration’s attempt to add a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 census and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. His leadership and steadfast defense of the Constitution has helped countless Latinos in the country elevate themselves academically and economically.

“We are enormously grateful for Justice Breyer’s nearly 28 years of service on the Supreme Court in which he made great strides in defending and supporting voting, immigration and fair housing rights among other issues. President Biden has an opportunity to nominate a jurist grounded in protecting the civil rights of all people, including Latinos,” said Lourdes M. Rosado, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “This fall the Supreme Court is poised to likely hear a challenge to carefully-crafted race-aware admissions policies long employed by Harvard and the University of North Carolina. We hope that a Justice with lived experience, reflective of our diverse nation, will be nominated and confirmed.”

"We will always be thankful to Justice Stephen Breyer for defending immigrants. His landmark majority opinion in Zadvydas v. Davis set a clear precedent that the government may not detain immigrants indefinitely. President Joe Biden now has a momentous opportunity to create a more diverse Supreme Court that better represents the interests of our country,” said Héctor Sánchez Barba, Executive Director and CEO of Mi Familia Vota. “The President must appoint someone who has a track record of defending the rights and interests of all people, including Latinos and other communities of color. The Senate must stop playing partisan games and politicizing our nation's highest court.  The rights of our communities are on the line, democracy is at risk, and the legitimacy of SCOTUS is at stake."

LFJ and its partners welcome and support the overdue nomination of the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, as President Biden promised would happen during his campaign. Such a nomination would deepen the knowledge and breadth of lived experience within the nation’s highest court and help restore the integrity of an institution that has lost much public confidence following a series of politically biased decisions.

“We applaud President Biden’s commitment to nominating the first Black woman justice to the Supreme Court, which is long overdue.” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of UnidosUS. “Since Constance Baker Motley was appointed as the first Black woman to serve on the federal judiciary, our country has had a number of remarkable Black women judges who should have been on the Supreme Court long ago.  We will work with the Administration to confirm a qualified nominee as soon as possible.”

LFJ and it’s partner organizations – which represent the nation’s most prominent Latino legal and civil right communities – are committed to advocating for the appointment of qualified judicial candidates from the Latino community, along with others from diverse racial and professional backgrounds. In addition to making the Supreme Court more representative of the nation’s changing demographics, LFJ urges President Biden to nominate someone with a legal track record of defending the rights and interests of all people, including Latinos and other communities of color.

“Justice Breyer’s retirement after several decades of honorable service represents a momentous opportunity for President Biden to appoint a qualified jurist who will bring the Supreme Court closer to reflecting the diversity of our nation at a moment when public confidence in the institution is at an all-time low,” said Andrea Nill Sanchez, Director of Latinos for a Fair Judiciary. “The White House should fulfill its promise to make history by appointing the first Black female Justice to the nation’s highest court while also ensuring that the person nominated has a demonstrated commitment to racial and social equity that will benefit our nation as a whole, including the Latino community.”

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

About LatinoJustice
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more information about LatinoJustice, visit
www.latinojustice.org