Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release: |
June 6, 2012
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer Introduces Jesus Bernal at Senate Judiciary Committee Confirmation Hearing
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced Jesus Bernal, President Obama’s nominee to be a U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School, Bernal is currently the Directing Attorney for the Riverside Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California. Before joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles, he was an attorney at Heller Ehrman, where he worked on complex commercial litigation cases.
If confirmed by the Senate, he would be the only Latino District Court judge serving the Central District’s Eastern Division, which includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The following are Senator Boxer’s remarks at the hearing:
I am honored to be here today to welcome and introduce Jesus Bernal, who has been nominated to the Central District Court of California.
Mr. Bernal is very well respected by colleagues in the Riverside legal community, and will make an outstanding addition to the federal bench.
He also has the support of my colleague, Senator Feinstein, who could not be here today. I ask unanimous consent to submit Senator Feinstein’s statement for the record.
I would like to welcome Mr. Bernal’s wife, Patricia, who is with us today.
I would also like to welcome another Californian before the committee, Professor Grande Lum from the University of California-Hastings who has been nominated as Director of the Justice Department’s Office of Community Relations. He is currently a clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. He is joined today by his wife Nan Santiago.
Mr. Bernal was born the oldest son of two humble factory workers, Gilberto and Martha, who aspired for their sons and daughters to attend college and not have to work in a factory.
Gilberto and Martha would tell young Jesus and his siblings – “You study, we work!”
Their aspirations were realized, as all five of their children attended college.
And today, Mr. Bernal stands on the edge of writing another chapter in his family’s history, as he seeks to become a federal district court judge.
To his mother, Martha, and his brothers and sisters who are watching today via webcast, I share in your pride on this momentous day.
Mr. Bernal is a graduate of Yale University, with honors, and Stanford Law School. After law school, he clerked for Judge David Kenyon on the same court to which he has been nominated – the Central District of California.
Mr. Bernal began his practicing career as an Associate with the Heller Ehrman law firm, where he worked on complex commercial litigation cases.
In 1996, he joined the Los Angeles Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California, where he began handling federal criminal cases, representing indigent defendants.
In 2006, he became the Directing Attorney for the Riverside Branch Office, where he supervises a team of attorneys, investigators, paralegals and administrative staff.
In addition to his work in court, Mr. Bernal has served on the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association, Inland Empire Chapter, since 2006. The Federal Bar Association is a group that works toward improving the education and skills for lawyers practicing in the federal courts.
He has also dedicated time to working with Latino at-risk youth.
It is important that we confirm Mr. Bernal to the bench in Riverside as soon as possible. Riverside County has 23 percent of the Central District’s population. However, out of the 25 active judges in the Central District, there is only one judge currently sitting in Riverside.
We need to send the people of Riverside another judge – quickly.
I close by congratulating Mr. Bernal and his family on this important day. He is an excellent candidate who brings diverse experience in the federal courts, having handled criminal and civil cases there.
I urge my colleagues in the Senate to move swiftly to confirm these nominees to the federal bench.