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The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and affiliates call for more diversity in Texas’s Judiciary

The Association, which represents over 67,000+ Hispanic legal professionals, wants more Hispanic representation in the Texas Judiciary.

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The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, and Mexican American Bar Association of Dallas have released a statement calling for more representation in the Texas Judiciary. 

They are banding together to express their collective disappointment with the lack of Hispanic diversity in the federal judiciary in Texas, and specifically, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. 

According to the 2020 U.S Census, 39.26% of the population of Texas is Hispanic, ranking second in total percentage of Hispanic population in the U.S. The only state with a larger Hispanic population percentage-wise is New Mexico. 

The Association’s argument is that the Judiciary doesn’t reflect the population and wants current vacancies to be filled with Hispanic judges and lawyers. 

HNBA President Mariana Bravo said in a statement, “The great State of Texas is a leader of our nation in so many respects that are critical to our American way of life – and Texas’s proud Hispanic representation in the Texas federal judiciary remains unacceptable low.” 

She added, “The number of Hispanic federal judges currently serving in the federal judiciary simply does not reflect the diversity of state, the many accomplishments of Hispanic lawyers in all sectors and at all levels of our profession, or the decades of efforts among Texans from all political stripes and walks of life to identity, cultivate, and promote outstanding Hispanic legal talent.”

As of September 2022, almost 20% of trial and appellate judges in Texas are Hispanic, according to data from the Texas Judicial Branch. Hispanic people make up 10% of the state’s lawyers overall and 15% of Texas Young Lawyers Association

By contrast, on the federal level there are only two Hispanic judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and 18 in the District Courts.  

There are currently two vacancies on the Fifth Circuit Court. By the end of the year and the start of 2023, there will be three more vacancies

The HNBA and its Texas affiliates have encouraged President Biden and Senators from Texas to fill these positions. They note that a lack of Hispanic representation among Article III judges and in Texas in general is detrimental because that representation is “necessary to reflect Texas’s rich history, growth, talent, and diversity.” 

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