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League of United Latin American Citizens
LULAC Urges Senators To Cease Accusations Of Anti-Hispanic Bias
Estrada debate should focus on his qualifications, experience, and judicial temperament
March 6, 2003
For Immediate Release
Washington, DC-The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), this country's oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization, is calling upon Senate Republicans to tone down their rhetoric on the Miguel Estrada nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Citing accusations of anti-Hispanic bias aimed at those opposed to his nomination, LULAC urged Senators and other advocacy groups to cease such accusations and instead to focus on the nominee's qualifications, experience, and judicial temperament.
"While LULAC continues to support Miguel Estrada's nomination," stated LULAC National President Hector Flores, "we are alarmed by suggestions from some of the backers of Mr. Estrada that the Senate Democrats and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are opposing his nomination because of his race, ethnicity or an anti-Hispanic bias. We do not subscribe to this view at all and we do not wish to be associated with such accusations."
"LULAC has had a long and productive working relationship with many Senate Democrats and with all of the members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and our experience is that they would never oppose any nominee because of his or her race or ethnicity," stated LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. "On the contrary, it is most often the Democratic members of the Senate who support LULAC's priority issues and score highest on the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda's congressional scorecard which LULAC helps to compile. Nine times out of ten it is the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that is the champion of our legislative priorities."
LULAC's support of Miguel Estrada's nomination is based on the nominee's strong qualifications, experience and bi-partisan support from those who have worked with him throughout his career. LULAC strongly believes that our nation's federal judges should reflect the diversity of the communities they preside over. Hispanics, however, remain severely underrepresented in the judiciary comprising only 3.8% of federal judges while making up 14% of the US population.
While we clearly support an end to the filibuster of Miguel Estrada, we also maintain that it was wrong for Republican Senators to delay and prevent the nominations of many of President Clinton's Hispanic judicial appointees including Richard Paez, Enrique Moreno, Jorge Rangel, Christina Arguello and Sonia Sotomayor. It would be in the best interest of both Democratic and Republican Senators to encourage more Hispanic nominations to the federal courts and to quickly confirm those with the qualifications, experience and judicial temperament to make good judges.
"We have so many important issues to tackle including education, health care, immigration reform, affirmative action, the economy, and homeland security," states LULAC National President, Hector Flores.
"We pray that the Senate leadership will compromise on the Estrada nomination, take a vote, and move on to more pressing issues."
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.
Please see our web site at www.LULAC.org for more information.