Thursday, October 25, 2012

70 Open Federal Judge Appointments Will Have Long-Term Latino Impact

When President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in 2009, the appointment made headlines because of her credentials, including as a federal District Court judge, and her Latino heritage. But equal attention should be paid to the push to fill more than 70 appointment-for-life federal court vacancies in four heavily Latino states.

Federal court judges make decisions that directly impact the lives of Latinos, said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, during an event in Washington on the 2012 election and the Latino workforce.

Some of the vacancies are in states where Latinos make up nearly a third of the population, such as Texas (38 percent) and Arizona (30 percent). Nevada's population is 27 percent Latino, and Colorado's is 20 percent.

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