Story at a glance

  • A prominent Latino legal civil rights groups called out the president for only including one Hispanic nominee for the federal bench.
  • “This level of underrepresentation is utterly unacceptable when Latinos have been the largest minority group in this country since 2003,” the groups said.
  • Biden announced plans to nominate attorney Regina Rodriguez for the U.S. District Court in Colorado.

President Biden last week unveiled his first slate of judicial nominees, which was praised for including three Black women and a man who would be the country’s first Muslim American federal district judge if confirmed. 

But following the announcement, several prominent Latino legal civil rights groups called out the president for only including one Hispanic nominee for the federal bench. 


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“We are extremely disappointed that the President included only one member of the Latino community in this first set of nominees to our federal courts,” Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Juan Cartagen, president of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, said in a joint statement

“This level of underrepresentation is utterly unacceptable when Latinos have been the largest minority group in this country since 2003, and when Latino voters are as responsible as any group of voters for Biden’s close electoral victory,” the statement said. 

The leaders of the two groups noted that five of the 13 federal circuit courts of appeals have no Latino or Latina judge, and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has never had a Hispanic judge in its entire history. 

Biden announced plans to nominate attorney Regina Rodriguez for the U.S. District Court in Colorado. If confirmed she would become the second female Hispanic judge of the court. 

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) applauded the nomination of Rodriguez and had formally endorsed her in February, but noted she was the only Hispanic nominee of the administration’s first 11 judicial candidates. 

“If this Administration is truly committed to ensuring that our courts reflect the communities they serve, they will need to nominate more Hispanic candidates,” HNBA President Elia Diaz-Yaeger said

Biden will be announcing more judicial nominees over the coming weeks.


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Published on Apr 07, 2021