LatinoJustice PRLDEF Asks NYS Commission on Judicial Nomination To Consider Latino Attorneys for Vacancy

This past month, President and General Counsel, Juan Cartagena, was invited to speak to the New York State Comission on Judicial Nominiations regarding the vacancy that will be left due to the mandatory retirement of Honorable Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Senior Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals. Judge Ciparick is currently the only Latina in the highest court in the state of New York.

This year, the Commission has been holding a series of public hearing across the state to publicize the anticipated vacancy created by Judge Ciparick's retirement, and to encourage applications by August 1, 2012.

Juan addressed the Commission and stressed the need for diversity within the state's judicial branch as a critical community asset, vital to promoting the Latino community's confidence in our justice system, particularly given discriminatory law enforcement practices like "Stop and Frisk" and the increasing expansion of immigration enforcement programs like Secure Communities.

"Diversity on New York State courts is critical to promote confidence in the legitimacy of the court system. Confidence erodes when Latinos are subject to arbitrary and discriminatory treatment by law enforcement; the Judiciary is an interdependent actor in the larger scheme of law enforcement; when Latinos distrust policing decision it informs their views of the Judiciary; when Latinos question prosecutorial discretion; it informs their view of Judiciary. Thus mutual dependence of each of these actors is critical in removing perceptions of unfairness."

You can read Juan Cartagena's entire testimony here.

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