FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2016
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, Simpson@civilrights.org
Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Senator Perdue for Blocking First Latino Federal Judge in Georgia
WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement condemning U.S. Senator David Perdue’s decision to scuttle the nomination of Dax Lopez, a Georgia state judge, because of his previous work with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), a highly respected bipartisan organization with the mission to “increase civic engagement and leadership of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia”:
“Working with a highly respected, bipartisan Latino organization should not disqualify anyone from being a federal judge. At the very least, Senator Perdue should have afforded Dax Lopez, a conservative state judge with bipartisan support, the courtesy of a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee where any questions about his views or qualifications could receive a public airing.
Instead, Senator Perdue made the unilateral decision to block Lopez’s nomination outright, against the wishes of Georgia’s other Republican U.S. Senator, Johnny Isakson, and many conservative supporters who backed Lopez as a fair-minded and well-qualified choice for the bench.
Senator Perdue can hide behind immigration politics all he wants. But the reality is that no Latino has ever been confirmed to the federal bench from Georgia despite the state’s growing Latino population. And as long as men like Senator Purdue are the gatekeepers, it’s unlikely that one ever will.”
Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.