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Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary

Press Releases


Jan 10, 2011

U.S. District Judge John Roll presided over 2009 case against an AZ vigilante rancher for unlawfully detaining and abusing migrants

WASHINGTON, DC – Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) today expressed its grief and dismay over the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that left six others dead including Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll.

Judge Roll had served on the federal judiciary since 1991 and as Arizona’s chief federal judge since 2006. His colleagues praised the judge as a wise, strong jurist and a kind, genuine man. On the bench, Roll gained renown for protecting the civil rights of undocumented immigrants in a 2009 case, Vicente v Barnett. While reports indicate that Judge Roll was simply a bystander in Saturday’s shooting, his role in that case resulted in several serious death threats and 24-hour protection by U.S. Marshalls.

Judge Roll was also an advocate for the confirmation of more federal judges, an issue Rep. Giffords had worked on, as well. Reports indicate that he attended Saturday’s event to discuss the growing federal judicial caseload in Arizona with her. He had been interviewed by the East Valley Tribune recently on the impact of the lack of federal judges on the judicial caseload.

The death and wounding of all of Saturday’s victims is tragic. It was also an attack on the vibrancy of our democracy and the stability of our judiciary. HFJ joins the growing call for a return to civility and reason in our public debate. At stake: the safe exercise of our basic right to participate in American democracy.

Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary • 1640 Rhode Island Avenue, Suite 600 • Washington, DC 20036 • P: 202.466.8585

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