Padilla, Butler Applaud Confirmation of Two Judges to the Central District of California

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler (both D-Calif.), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement after the Senate confirmed Judge Kenly Kiya Kato and Mónica Ramírez Almadani to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California:

“We are glad to see the Senate confirm Judge Kato and Ms. Ramírez Almadani, who have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to service and equal justice time and time again and hold strong ties to the Los Angeles legal community.

“Known throughout the Central District for her thoughtfulness and dedication, Judge Kato has presided over a wide variety of criminal and civil matters as a Magistrate Judge and previously represented hundreds of clients with the Central District’s Federal Public Defender’s Office. As the daughter of Japanese-American parents interned during World War II, Judge Kato understands the power — and the fragility — of equal justice under the law on a deeply personal level.

“Born in Los Angeles as the proud daughter of immigrants from Mexico, Ms. Ramírez Almadani has developed impressive experience on issues including immigration, civil rights, employment, and criminal law while working for the California and U.S. Departments of Justice, ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, and the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the UC Irvine School of Law. Most recently, in her capacity as President and CEO of Public Counsel, she led the largest provider of pro bono legal services in the country.

“We are proud to work closely with the Biden Administration to recommend highly qualified nominees like Judge Kato and Ms. Ramírez Almadani who will undoubtedly serve the people of California well.”

Judge Kenly Kiya Kato: United States District Court for the Central District of California

Judge Kenly Kiya Kato has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California since 2014. From 2004 to 2014, Judge Kato was a solo practitioner, representing clients in civil and criminal cases. From 2003 to 2004, Judge Kato was an associate at Liner LLP in Los Angeles. From 1997 to 2003, she was a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles. Judge Kato served as a law clerk for Judge Robert M. Takasugi of the United States District Court for the Central District of California from 1996 to 1997.

Judge Kato received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996 and her B.A., summa cum laude, from UCLA in 1993.

Mónica Ramírez Almadani: United States District Court for the Central District of California

Mónica Ramírez Almadani has been the President and CEO of Public Counsel, the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the nation, since 2021. She previously worked as a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law from 2019 to 2021, as a Special Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP from 2017 to 2019, and as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the California Attorney General’s Office from 2015 to 2017. From 2009 to 2015, Ms. Ramírez Almadani held various positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, including Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California from 2012 to 2015; Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General from 2011 to 2012; and Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division from 2009 to 2011. From 2005 to 2009, she was a Staff Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union. From 2004 to 2005, she served as a law clerk for Judge Warren J. Ferguson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Ramírez Almadani received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2004 and her A.B. from Harvard University in 2001.