ICYMI: Padilla Speaks on Senate Floor to Support Confirmations of Justice Gabriel Sanchez and Judge Holly Thomas to the Ninth Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor this month in support of the confirmations of Judge Holly Thomas and Justice Gabriel Sanchez, both nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On January 12, Justice Sanchez was confirmed by a vote of 52-47. On January 20, Judge Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 48-40.
Justice Gabriel Sanchez was born and raised in Los Angeles, and is the proud son of a single mother from Mexico. He earned degrees from Yale College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School. Key excerpts of Senator Padilla’s speech on the Senate floor in support of the confirmation of Justice Sanchez are below, and you can watch his remarks HERE.
- Madam President, I rise today to urge my colleagues to join me in confirming Justice Gabriel Sanchez to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Justice Sanchez has long been held in high esteem in California legal circles. He brings thoughtfulness and empathy to every decision he makes.
- He was born and raised in Los Angeles, the proud son of a single mother from Mexico. …With her unfailing support, Justice Sanchez went on to earn degrees from Yale College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School.
- In 2010, he earned a Social Justice Award from the ACLU of Southern California for his work representing farmworkers in a lawsuit to enforce workplace safety protections that helped prevent deadly heat illness.
- Justice Sanchez went on to serve with distinction in California’s state government, first as a Deputy Attorney General and then as a Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Brown. There, he proved himself to be a sharp thinker, a creative problem-solver, and a dedicated public servant.
- Justice Sanchez has earned a reputation as an outstanding jurist committed to doing justice for all. I am confident he will bring the same dedication to the bench of the Ninth Circuit, and I am proud to support his confirmation today.
Judge Holly Thomas is a San Diego native and a graduate of Yale Law School who spent over ten years working on civil rights litigation and appeals. As the granddaughter of sharecroppers, she is a passionate fighter for equal justice. She is the first Black woman from California to serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit. Key excerpts of Senator Padilla’s speech on the Senate floor in support of Judge Thomas’ confirmation are below, and you can watch his remarks HERE.
- Madam President, I rise today to applaud the confirmation of Judge Holly Thomas to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Judge Thomas is a dedicated advocate for equality under law, and has made a career fighting to ensure the civil rights of all Americans.
- A proud San Diego native and a graduate of Yale Law School, Judge Thomas spent over ten years working on civil rights litigation and appeals. That time included litigating at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, in DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, and in the New York Solicitor General’s Office.
- Recognizing her outstanding work, Governor Brown appointed her to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2018. This appointment was a full circle moment for a person whose love of the law was nurtured by her supportive parents at a young age—when they would take her to watch court proceedings so that she could imagine what a career as a lawyer might be like.
- Decades later, as a judge on the Superior Court, Judge Thomas requested to serve in a family law division because of her empathy for families going through a difficult process in court.
- As the first person in her family to go to college after high school, Judge Thomas knows what it’s like to navigate unfamiliar institutions. As the granddaughter of sharecroppers, she is a passionate fighter for equal justice.
- Judge Thomas’s compassion is matched by her legal acumen. Throughout her career, she has distinguished herself with thoughtful analysis, expert judgment, and an unshakeable commitment to civil rights.
- I know Judge Thomas will serve with distinction as a judge on the Ninth Circuit, and I congratulate her on her well-deserved confirmation.
Within weeks of being sworn in to the Senate, Senator Padilla established a Judicial Evaluation Commission that is approximately 70 percent attorneys of color and a majority women to evaluate candidates for federal judicial vacancies in California. Working with his Commission over the last several months, Senator Padilla worked closely with the Biden administration to advise on and support the nominations of Judge Thomas and Justice Sanchez to the Ninth Circuit. Padilla introduced both Judge Thomas and Judge Sanchez during their confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In December, Padilla spoke on the Senate floor to celebrate the diversity of California’s judicial nominees and urge his colleagues to confirm them swiftly.