Last week, a group of Latino leaders launched “Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary,” (HFJ) a network of Latino elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, and academic voices committed to raising awareness around the impact federal courts and judges have on the Latino community.
Participants discussed the judiciary’s importance as the last line of defense on issues ranging from immigration and voting rights to reproductive justice and labor protections. They also weighed in on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s record and potential impact on the Latino community.
“It is critical that we, as Latinos, insert ourselves into the national conversation, and elevate our voices on the most pressing legal issues impacting our communities across the country,” stated New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-33 representing The Bronx). “I’m grateful to be part of this diverse coalition as we come together with one common goal in mind — to ensure that Latino voices are widely heard and taken into consideration throughout the entire country as we fight to make sure Kavanaugh is not confirmed.”
HFJ co-founder, CNN Correspondent and board member of the Center for Reproductive Rights, María Cardona stated, “Our Judiciary has a daily impact on immigrants across our country. I believe that this [Supreme Court] nomination could have devastating consequences on our community. We can’t forget Kavanaugh was selected from a pre-vetted list of candidates that will overturn Roe v. Wade. We must do all we can to ensure our community is aware of this.”
“The Supreme Court has always played a vital role in protecting civil rights and has been the last line of defense for our democracy’s very stability. As a community, we must be able to access the courts and seek the protections provided by our legal system,” added José Pérez, Deputy General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, will result in the erosion of many of the civil rights victories won in the last half century.”
“It is critical that we, as Latinos, insert ourselves into the national conversation, and elevate our voices on the most pressing legal issues impacting our communities across the country.”
Gustavo Rivera, NY State Senator
Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel at MALDEF stated, “It is imperative that every nominee to serve as a Justice be completely vetted for their understanding of the Latino experience with discrimination in the United States. We must particularly guard against the treatment of non-citizens as having a lesser claim to all of the rights attributed to ‘persons’ in our Constitution.” Saenz concluded by noting, “Unfortunately, some of Judge Kavanaugh’s published views indicate a dangerous potential belief in a manufactured and unsupported construction of a hierarchy-of-rights holders.”
In anticipation of the upcoming confirmation hearings, HFJ sent a joint letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee signed by a group of Latino law professors, civil rights leaders, and advocates identifying priority issues for the Latino community.
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