News Releases

Murray Applauds Historic Nomination of Eastern Washington’s First Latino Federal Judge

Jan 16 2014

Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr., a former migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley, nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), applauded President Obama’s nomination of Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. to become the first Latino United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington.  Currently a judge on the Superior Court for Benton and Franklin Counties, Judge Mendoza is widely respected within the state’s legal community, and has dedicated much of his personal and professional life working on behalf of children and families throughout Eastern Washington. 

“Judge Mendoza represents the very best of Washington state’s honest, hardworking spirit, and I’m thrilled that President Obama has nominated him to continue serving our state as a federal judge,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who recommended Judge Mendoza to President Obama for the Eastern District.  “Judge Mendoza’s incredible life story, from growing up as a migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley to becoming the President’s nominee for the United States District Court is something all Washingtonians can be proud of.”  

Early in his career, Judge Mendoza worked briefly as an intern for Senator Murray.

From 1999 until Governor Jay Inslee appointed him to the Superior Court, Judge Mendoza practiced law in Washington state, focusing on criminal defense, while simultaneously serving as a judge pro tempore in several district, municipal, and juvenile courts in Benton and Franklin Counties.  His previous experiences include positions as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and an Assistant Attorney General in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.  Judge Mendoza is a longtime volunteer, officer and Board member of the Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society and has served as a Board member for the Benton Franklin Circle of Hope / Drug Court Board and for the United Way of Benton and Franklin County.  He received his J.D. in 1997 from the UCLA School of Law and his B.A. in 1994 from the University of Washington.

The Eastern District of Washington includes the following counties: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, Yakima.