The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing over 120 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to express strong support for the confirmation of David Estudillo, Lauren King and Tana Lin, as judges to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
Each of these three outstanding nominees are eminently qualified and have a demonstrated commitment to equal justice. They have spent years working to preserve critical rights and protections, including the rights of workers and consumers, immigrants, Native Americans, and the accused. They would also bring diversity to the federal bench, including the first ever Native American and first ever Asian American to sit on the bench in Washington.
Mr. Estudillo, the son of immigrant farmworkers, has developed extensive courtroom experience as a Superior Court judge in Washington. And for over a decade before beginning judicial service, he worked as a civil litigator, representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases, and fighting for immigrants before trial and appellate level courts, including in deportation proceedings and at Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) hearings.
Ms. King has spent much of her career representing Native American tribes and, if confirmed, would be only the fifth active Native American federal judge in American history and the first in Washington. Notably, she litigated the largest treaty rights case in the history of the Western District of Washington, preserving offshore fishing rights for the Quileute and Quinault tribes. Aside from her legal work, King is a citizen of the Muscogee nation and serves on the Muscogee Reservation Protection Commission. She is also a former member of the Seattle Indian Health Board.
Ms. Lin has spent her career as an advocate for the rights of everyday Americans, including years representing workers and consumers as a litigator in Washington. Prior to that, she worked at the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In those offices, she fought employment discrimination by both public and private entities, from local police apartments to large corporations, including Wal-Mart. She also was litigation coordinator for Michigan Poverty Law Program and has performed significant pro bono work, most notably suing to block portions of the Trump administration’s discriminatory Muslim ban. Ms. Lin has also served admirably as a public defender, helping to ensure a fair justice system for all.
These nominees are highly qualified for federal judgeships. The Senate should expeditiously move to confirm these three individuals to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.