WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2023 – Today the White House announced the nomination of two new circuit court judges. Both are Latina, bringing important diversity to the federal bench that has been particularly lacking.
Judge Ana De Alba, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was confirmed as a district judge last year and previously served on the Superior Court of California in Fresno County. She will be the fourth Latina judge to serve on the Ninth Circuit after having been the first Latina judge on the Eastern District of California. She also has a background in employment discrimination and harassment cases and well as immigrants’ rights. De Alba’s parents were Mexican immigrants, and she was a first-generation high school graduate.
Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, has served as a magistrate judge for the Northern District of Texas since 2002. President Obama nominated her to the U.S. District Court for that district in 2016, but her nomination expired without a confirmation. Also, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Judge Ramirez would be the first Latina to serve on the Fifth Circuit and its only Latinx judge.
Kimberly Humphrey, Alliance for Justice Legal Director for Federal Courts, issued the following statement:
“It’s encouraging to see these accomplished Latina judges receiving these promotions. They are a reminder of the brilliance and experience that exists in so many diverse communities but is so often unrecognized. This is a step in the right direction to address how very far behind we are in ensuring Latinx representation on our courts, particularly in regions with significant Latinx populations like these two circuits. Hopefully this signifies there are more to come.
“The Fifth Circuit in particular is one of the most conservative in the country, including six Trump judges — two of whom gave us this week’s dreadful ruling against mifepristone. We urgently need to fill all of the remaining vacancies to limit the influence of these extremists across all our courts. Given how judicial nominations have felt stalled the past two months, this announcement feels like a real burst of momentum anticipating the Senate’s return next week and the incredible work yet to be done.”