LOS ANGELES –  Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s nomination of Myrna Pérez to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the paucity of Latino judges on the federal bench:

“We welcome the nomination of Myrna Pérez, a highly respected and accomplished voting rights attorney, to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  MALDEF has a long working relationship with Pérez, and we know that she will be an extraordinary judge who will serve with wisdom, intellect, and compassion.  With her nomination as the second Latino to a court of appeals, President Biden has doubled the number of Latino/a nominees to courts of appeal ever made by Donald Trump.

“Still, there is clearly more to be done to begin to adequately and equitably include the Latino community, the nation’s largest minority community, in our federal judiciary.  As we have noted often, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most influential court in the country, has never in its entire history had a Latino/a judge.  Both the Fifth and Tenth Circuits, two of the top four circuits in Latino population proportion, currently have no active Latino/a judges.

“We also call upon all senators who play a role in suggesting court nominees to the White House to recognize their obligation to include the Latino community, especially as Census data confirm the growth and significance of the Latino population in each state.”