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Kagan Hearing Details Commitment to Equality Under Law But Lacks Specifics on Latino Issues

Jul 8, 2010

HFJ will delve into Kagan’s answers during SCOTUS forums scheduled in New Mexico and Texas

WASHINGTON, DC – Members of Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) had mixed reactions at the conclusion of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Solicitor General Elena Kagan last week. While the Solicitor General provided a great deal of insight into her legal background, experience and deference to precedent, there was little discussion on civil rights and none about the Latino community.

“During three days of testimony, Elena Kagan demonstrated a solid command of the law. While Latino issues have not been a focus of these hearings, and it is therefore difficult to determine how she would approach issues of concern to our community, it is encouraging that she spoke about the important role of the constitution’s equal protection clause in combating discrimination and that Thurgood Marshall was one of her heroes, a Supreme Court Justice who was a legendary champion for civil rights,” said Reynaldo Valencia, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas.

“Last week, Solicitor General Kagan showed Americans her sharp legal mind, her grace under fire and an unflappable air of confidence in her preparation and background for this next big step. Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary would have liked to hear more directly and more specifically about how her commitment to equal opportunities for Latinos and all minorities is equally as unflappable. We look forward to continuing to explore in more detail, Ms. Kagan’s record and comments during her Confirmation hearings in order to ensure she will be a champion for all of our communities,” said Maria Cardona, Founding Member of HFJ.

Continuing its series on the Supreme Court and the Latino Community, “Justice Matters: The Elena Kagan Nomination and the Impact of the Supreme Court on the Latino Community,” HFJ will be heading to the NCLR and LULAC annual conferences to further engage the community with this important nomination.

Participating panelists at NCLR will include Leticia Van de Putte, State Senator for the Texas State Senate; Trey Martinez Fischer, State Representative for the Texas House of Representatives; Delia Garcia, State Representative for the Kansas House of Representatives; Liz Lopez, Vice President of External Affairs for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA); Nayantara Mehta, Senior Counsel for Alliance for Justice (AFJ); and Reynaldo Valencia, Associate Dean and Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Participating panelists at LULAC will include Hector Balderas, State Auditor for State of New Mexico; Ray Velarde, Legal Counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); James Ferg-Cadima, Washington DC Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); Laura Gomez, Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico, School of Law; and Liz Lopez, Vice President of External Affairs for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA).

Upcoming HFJ Discussion Series events on General Kagan and the Supreme Court include:

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010 @ 2:30pm-3:30pm
    NCLR Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX
    Grand Hyatt San Antonio - Room Republic B, 4th Level 
    600 East Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205
  • Friday, July 16, 2010 @ 10:30am-11:50am
    LULAC Annual Convention in Albuquerque, NM
    Convention Center - Mesilla Room
    401 2nd Street, NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Should you be interested in attending any of the upcoming HFJ Discussion Series events, please RSVP with Vanessa Ramirez at vramirez@rabengroup.com or call (213) 236-3751.

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Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ) was formed in April 2005 in order to provide Hispanic leaders across the nation a platform and voice in matters related to our nation's judicial system. HFJ is an unaffiliated, non-partisan, independent network of elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders who care deeply about the impact that the Supreme Court has on the Latino community.

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