LOS ANGELES – Please attribute the following statement on today’s Biden Administration announcement of four judicial nominees to the United States District Court for the Central District of California to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund):
“The announcement by the Biden Administration of four nominees to the federal bench of the Central District of California is an astounding indictment of the two California U.S. senators in their failure to represent the Latino population of southern California. When it comes to district court nominations, the White House defers to Democratic senators to recommend life-tenured judicial nominees, so our senators are responsible for the extreme underrepresentation of Latinos epitomized by today’s announced nominations.
“The population of the seven counties that comprise the Central District, headquartered in Los Angeles, is 46 percent Latino, according to the 2020 Census. Yet, with today’s four nominations — none of whom is Latino — the six nominations to the Central District this first year of the Biden Administration have included only one Latino. There have been three Blacks, one Asian American, and one Native American nominated as well.
“One out of six nominees, most of whom will serve for well over a decade, to a court serving a population that is already 46 percent Latino — and will be even more so in future years — is fundamentally disrespectful to the Latino community and to the many well-qualified Latino lawyers who have sought federal judicial positions. The extreme underrepresentation of the Latino community is an extraordinary disservice to the reputation of the national federal judiciary, as well as to the aspirations of Latino children – now well over half of all students in the state — whom we depend upon to ensure that our state continues to thrive in the future.
“Senators Feinstein and Padilla should publicly commit that the one remaining current vacancy on the Central District will be filled by a Latino nominee, and to do much better on Latino representation in their recommendations of judicial nominees throughout California in the next year. There is no excuse for this year’s abysmal record on Latino Central District nominations.”