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Judge Perez looks to be only the second Latina judge to serve in U.S. District Court if confirmed.
Judge Perez looks to be only the second Latina judge to serve in U.S. District Court if confirmed. Photo: AL DÍA Archives.

Judge Mia Perez to be second Latina judge to serve on the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of PA, if confirmed

President Joe Biden’s new slate of nominees include Germantown’s own Judge Mia Perez, as Biden continues his promise of diversifying the nation's courts.

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President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday, July 12, five new nominees for federal judicial positions, bringing his total of nominees to 112 since coming into office. This is Biden’s twenty-first round of nominees and his eighth slate of nominees of 2022. 

The new nominations are a continuation of the president’s promise to ensure diversity on the nation’s courts. As he rapidly moves to fill the vacancies, there is an optimism that confirmation will happen, as the president got confirmation for lower court judges in his first year in office. It’s the first time that has happened since the Kennedy Administration. 

Among the nominees is Judge Mia Perez, who if confirmed, would be only the second Latina to serve in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Perez, who grew up in Germantown, received her B.A. from Tufts University in 2003 and received her J.D. from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. 

Perez previously was an Assistant Defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia from 2006 to 2010. From 2010 to 2011, she was also an associate at Friedman Schuman all before starting her private practice, Perez Law from 2011 to 2016. As a product of Philadelphia, she was one of the youngest judges to be elected to the Court of Common Pleas and will look to bring further Latin representation into the courts, where diversification is desperately needed. 

In a previous talk Judge Perez had with AL DÍA, she spoke on the need and importance of a diversified bench. 

“As a member of the judiciary, I’m supposed to work with impartiality, however, impartiality and lack of education are two different things. I can be impartial to the parties that are involved but if someone is coming to me with a specific set of circumstances I need to have the education, or the background, to understand those circumstances. When it comes to family law and criminal law in particular, familiar backgrounds come into play. If we don’t understand the cultural aspect, we are working without understanding,” she said. 

In the same talk, she also touched on the need for more Latino representation.

“We are working with a group that for a long time has been disenfranchised and not just when it comes to judicial elections but overall. We have entire floors of our criminal justice center that are dedicated to the east division of Philly, which is primarily Latino. Why do we currently only have Judge [Angeles] Roca in family court and Judge [Teresa] Sarmina in the civil division? We don't have any other Latino judges in the common pleas court. That’s why we have to get the voters to understand,” she said. 

Biden’s nomination of Perez will be to fill the vacated seat of Judge Timothy J. Savage who is in senior status as of March 1, 2021.

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webber.davidw
I completely agree with Judge Perez about the importance of having a diverse judiciary, including more Latino judges. However, the quote used in the article was apparently quite dated. Judge Angeles Roca was removed from the bench for an ethics violation involving case-fixing allegations in 2016.
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