Letter to Georgia Trend Magazine: Latinos won’t forget U.S. Sen. Perdue’s blocking of Judge Lopez

May 2016

In his recent interview with Georgia Trend, Senator Perdue discussed his rejection of Judge Dax Lopez’ nomination for a federal judgeship citing his appointment was “not the right thing to do.”  Although he didn’t provide further details, we are left to wonder whether it wasn’t the right thing to do for the people of our great country or for the Senator’s personal and political ambitions.  In our opinion, Judge Lopez was not given a fair chance to have a hearing with the U.S. Senate.

Judge Lopez is a young conservative judge appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2010.  In his six years as a judge, Lopez has not had a single ruling overturned by an appellate court.  Additionally, his D.U.I. Court in DeKalb County has effectively reduced recidivism rates of high-risk D.U.I. offenders through treatment, increasing the public safety of the county.

 

His appointment by President Obama demonstrated bipartisan support, something that is hard to come by in Washington.  Here in our home state, Dax also has the support of various conservative groups, law firms, and several high-ranking Republicans.  He is a member of the Federalist Society and is well respected on both sides of the aisle for the quality of his work.  Mr. Lopez also serves the community in various ways, one of those included his previous involvement with GALEO.

 

The pushback on Lopez’s nomination came mostly from anti-immigrant groups opposed to immigration. GALEO’s positions on immigration reform have been very close to mainstream national organizations such as the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, neither of which are considered extreme groups holding “controversial” positions on immigration.

 

It is very unfortunate that Judge Lopez’s nomination came at a time when the divisive rhetoric of Republican Presidential candidates were making headlines while skyrocketing in Republican primary election polls.  However, Senator Perdue’s choice to turn his back on a member of his own party simply because of his affiliation with a Latino group will be long remembered by Georgia’s growing Latino and immigrant communities.

 

Jerry Gonzalez

Executive Director of GALEO

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