Padilla Urges Colleagues to Support Judge Montenegro’s Nomination to the Southern District of California
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) delivered remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the nomination of Judge Ruth Montenegro for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California highlighting her extensive experience and reputation as a respected jurist.
“Judge Montenegro has lifelong roots in Southern California. She’s the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who came to this country with an elementary school education. Judge Montenegro understood the value of education, community, and public service at an early age,” said Senator Padilla. “Judge Montenegro’s extensive judicial experience and her long history of connection to the Southern District will strengthen our district court bench. I’m proud to have recommended Judge Montenegro to the President, strongly support her nomination, and colleagues, I urge you to support her as well.”
Senator Padilla is committed to rebuilding a federal judiciary that better reflects the communities it serves. 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 in advising and supporting the nomination of Judge Montenegro to serve on the Southern District of California.
Remarks as delivered are available below and video of the full remarks is available here:
Thank you, Mr. Chair, Ranking Member Grassley.
I’m proud to introduce Judge Ruth Montenegro as President Biden’s nominee to serve as the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Judge Montenegro is joined today by her husband, Joe, daughter Miranda, sisters Eran and Nadia, brother-in-law Jason, and her law clerks.
I welcome them all to Committee, and thank them for their support of this incredible nominee.
Now, Judge Montenegro has lifelong roots in Southern California.
She’s the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who came to this country with an elementary school education, I can relate. Judge Montenegro understood the value of education, community, and public service at an early age.
She was born and raised in Brawley, California—and yes, I’ve been there multiple times, not every elected official in California can say that—and she earned her associate’s degree from Imperial Valley College.
After a few brief years away to attend college at Clarion University in Pennsylvania, Judge Montenegro returned to California, where she attended and graduated from UCLA School of Law.
Establishing her law career in El Centro—so far from Brawley—El Centro, California in the Imperial Valley community in which she was raised—Judge Montenegro achieved success as a litigator, advocate, and administrator.
She focused on representing public agencies, ranging from the Imperial Valley Housing Authority to the El Centro Elementary School District.
Recognizing her nearly 20 years of skillful legal work, Governor Brown appointed Judge Montenegro to a Superior Court as a Superior Court Judge in 2012, where she served for a year, before being appointed as a family court commissioner.
In 2014, Judge Montenegro ran for and won election to serve once again as a Superior Court Judge in Imperial County.
And in 2018, Judge Montenegro’s excellence was recognized once again, and she was appointed to serve as a Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of California.
She has served with distinction on that court for the past three years.
Judge Montenegro’s extensive judicial experience and her long history of connection to the Southern District will strengthen our district court bench.
She’s been a balanced and respected jurist, and a fixture in the community.
She’s also a mentor and educator for young people, as I’m sure her clerks, who are here supporting her today, would tell you.
She’s volunteered to help students on the path to college, and established a civics education program at the federal courthouse in El Centro.
I’m proud to have recommended Judge Montenegro to the President, strongly support her nomination, and colleagues, I urge you to support her as well.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.