President Biden took a big step towards adding diversity to the federal judiciary as he announced three new Latine nominees. In all, there are eight seats available in this seventh round of new nominees bringing the total number of nominees to 43.
In the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit President Biden nominated Justice Gabriel Sanchez. He is currently an associate justice on the California First Court of Appeal. Sanchez has a long history in the California state government. Prior to that he had an active pro bono practice and was recognized by the ACLU for his efforts to improve heat illness safety for farmworkers.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hernán D. Vera was nominated to serve in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. One of the positions Vera held before serving in the LA County Superior Court was with the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the nation, Public Counsel, first as a directing attorney and later as president and CEO.
To serve in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, President Biden nominated David Herrera Urias, a New Mexico-based attorney. Prior to working at Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward in Albuquerque, Mr. Urias was a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Other diverse nominees from President Biden include Lucy Koh, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California. Koh would be the first Korean-American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge and the second AAPI woman to serve on the Ninth Circuit from California.
Also among the nominees is Judge Holly A. Thomas. She has served as a judge in the Family Law Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court and would be the first Black woman to serve on the Ninth Circuit from California, as well as the second Black woman to ever serve on the Ninth Circuit.