From Day One of his Administration, the President has been committed to ensuring that the federal judiciary reflects the diversity of America, and the legal profession, because of his belief that institutions instill more confidence when they reflect the American people. This commitment also means ensuring that Latinos are nominated and confirmed for judicial appointments.
One year in, 20% of the Biden-Harris Administration’s federal judicial nominees are Latino. In addition, this year, the Senate confirmed 40 circuit and district court judges—more judges than have been confirmed in a President’s first year since President Reagan was in office. 80% of the confirmed judges are women, and 53% are people of color.
As Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement, one of my roles is to be a liaison to the nation’s Latino community. To that end, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the extraordinary diversity of this group and the judges who were nominated and confirmed this year:
- 20% of the Biden-Harris Administration’s federal judicial nominees are Latino.
- The Biden-Harris Administration has already nominated more Latino judicial nominees in its first year than the Trump Administration appointed in four years.
- The Biden-Harris Administration has already nominated half as many Latino circuit court judges in its first year (3) as President Obama confirmed in eight years (6); the Biden-Harris Administration has nominated 15 Latino federal judicial nominees in its first year—which is already 40 percent of the total number of Latino judges that President Obama appointed in eight years (37).
- Of the confirmed judges we have seen so far this year, we want to celebrate some notable Latino achievements:
- Judge Myrna Perez is now the only Latina on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Judge Gustavo Gelpi is now the only Latino on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
- Judge Linda Lopez is the only active Latina – and the only active former public defender –
- Judge David Estudillo is the second Latino judge ever to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
- Judge Omar Williams is the first public defender of color ever to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
- Judge Regina Rodriguez is the second Latina ever to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
- Judge David Urias will be the second Latino active judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.
- Armando Bonilla was confirmed as the first Latino judge ever to serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, a court that was originally established in 1855.
And when the Senate returns in January, we look forward to confirming more remarkable Latino judicial nominees whose nominations are already pending with the Senate.
Ernesto ‘Ernie’ Apreza
Senior Advisor for Public Engagement