LOS ANGELES – Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced a seventh slate of federal judicial nominees. Included in the nominations were three Latinos: Justice Gabriel P. Sanchez, nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; David Herrera Urias, nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, and Judge Hernán D. Vera, who is nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Two of the nominees, Urias and Vera, previously worked as civil rights attorneys at MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund). Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF issued the following statement in response to the nominations:

“Today’s slate of nominees to the federal judiciary is a very hopeful announcement.  The inclusion of three extremely well-qualified Latino nominees, each with a track record of supporting civil rights, and two of whom spent part of their exemplary legal careers at MALDEF, demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to including judges in our federal system beyond the usual former prosecutors and big-firm partners.  The slate also provides hope that we can one day arrive at a federal judiciary that includes the large and growing Latino population in numbers commensurate with the future role of Latinos as litigants in the system and leaders in our nation.  MALDEF urges the Senate to swiftly confirm the three impressive Latino nominees to serve in California; their service is much-needed.

“The announcement, by demonstrating a commitment to equity and representation of minority communities, also provides great hope that we might soon see two circuit courts serving large Latino populations end their historical exclusion of Latinos among their judges.  The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most important federal court in the land, has never had a Latino or Latina judge.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, serving a significant and rapidly growing Latino population in the Midwest, has also never had a Latino or Latina judge.  Today’s slate also provides hope that two circuits serving among the nation’s highest percentage of Latinos in their populations – the Fifth Circuit and Tenth Circuit – will soon end their current absence of any active Latino or Latina judge.

“Finally, today’s nominations provide hope that our nation will one day recognize the significant and increasing importance of Latinos, the largest racial minority population in the country for almost twenty years, and their earned right to significant inclusion among our nation’s leading jurists.”