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Senator Murray: “Born and raised in the Yakima Valley of Washington state, Judge Estudillo is the son of immigrants and someone who worked hard to give back to his community… someone who will make sure every person that walks into his courtroom feels heard and that every person who walks out believes equal justice under the law is real in America.” 

*** Video of Senator Murray’s floor speech in support of Judge Estudillo is HERE and a photo of Senator Murray and Judge Estudillo is HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) hailed the Senate’s confirmation of Grant County Superior Court Judge David Estudillo, a former immigration attorney, by a vote of 54-41. Judge Estudillo was nominated by President Joe Biden for a lifetime appointment as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington to serve from the Tacoma courthouse at the recommendation of Senator Murray. Senator Murray spoke on the Senate floor in support of Judge Estudillo earlier today, video of her full remarks can be found HERE.

“I had the honor of recommending President Biden nominate Judge Estudillo for this position—and I am so glad he did. Born and raised in the Yakima Valley of Washington state, Judge Estudillo is the son of immigrants and someone who worked hard to give back to his community – serving his community well as an immigration lawyer and Grant County Superior Court Judge,” said Senator Murray. “His work as an immigration attorney is important to me because it means when Judge Estudillo is in the Tacoma Courthouse—and Washington state families look up at the judge’s bench, who maybe don’t speak English or just aren’t familiar with our court system, Judge Estudillo is someone who will make sure every person that walks into his courtroom feels heard and that every person who walks out believes equal justice under the law is real in America. If we want people in this country to have faith in our federal courts—an absolutely vital part our democracy’s checks and balances—then we need to appoint judges who will serve with integrity and independence, and who reflect the communities they serve. I know that Judge Estudillo will do exactly that.”

Senator Murray recommended Judge Estudillo to the Biden-Harris administration in early 2021 after his name was submitted to the Senator for consideration by Murray’s judicial merit selection committee. Senator Murray has pushed highly qualified candidates with an emphasis on demographic and professional diversity to help create a more fair and representative federal bench. Senator Murray’s judicial merit selection committee has been lauded as a model for other Senators to consider and was also recently highlighted by the House Judiciary Committee.

Judge David Estudillo was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the position of Grant County Superior Court Judge in 2015. He ran to retain his position on the Court in 2016, and during that election cycle he was endorsed by both Republican and Democratic elected officials of Grant County. In 2020, Estudillo ran unopposed and was elected to serve a second 4-year term. He currently serves as the Presiding Judge of the Grant County Superior Court and is the President of the Washington State Superior Court Judges’ Association. Estudillo began his career working at a mid-size firm in North Central Washington and later worked for an insurance defense firm in Seattle that focused on multi-party complex litigation. 

In 2005, with a desire to reengage with the Latino community in which he was raised and to utilize his Spanish language skills, Estudillo opened his own law firm with offices in both Eastern and Western Washington where he specialized in immigration law. Estudillo represented clients in removal proceedings before the Seattle and Tacoma Immigration Courts, successfully presenting and trying claims for asylum, cancellation of removal, and other forms of relief from deportation. He also frequently volunteered at immigration legal clinics to assist immigrants in applying for citizenship and often presented information in Spanish about immigration policy and procedure at local community forums. 

Estudillo’s nomination is endorsed by the Washington State Association of Justice, Police Chief of Moses Lake, City Administrator of Ephrata, Mayor of Moses Lake, Superior Court Judges Association, DSHS Division of Children, Youth and Family, and the Office of Public Defense Director Brett Hill. 

Read more about Judge Estudillo’s nomination HERE.

A full transcript of Senator Murray’s floor speech in support of Judge Estudillo can be found below:

“Thank you M. President.

“I rise today in support of the nomination of Judge David Estudillo to serve as U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Washington in the Tacoma courthouse.

“I had the honor of recommending President Biden nominate Judge Estudillo for this position, and I am so glad he did.

“Judge Estudillo is tremendously qualified for this job, currently serving in his third term as a Grant County Superior Court judge, and he is someone who will bring a powerful and important perspective to the federal bench.

“Let me tell you a little about Judge Estudillo and the kind of person he is.

“Born and raised in the Yakima Valley of Washington state Judge Estudillo is the son of immigrants, the ninth child of ten—his parents coming here from Mexico through the Bracero Program.

“His mother and father were farmworkers until they were able to open a small grocery store where Judge Estudillo worked growing up and through college.

“Judge Estudillo is someone who worked hard to give back to his community, working as an immigration lawyer.

“He represented clients in tough removal proceedings, successfully presenting and trying claims for asylum, cancellation of removal, and other forms of relief from deportation. 

“He also consistently provided pro bono services at immigration legal clinics to help immigrants applying for citizenship and often presented information in Spanish about immigration policy and procedure all around the community.

“And that work as an immigration attorney is important to me because it means when Judge Estudillo is in the Tacoma Courthouse—and Washington state families look up at the judge’s bench, who maybe don’t speak English or just aren’t familiar with our court system, Judge Estudillo is someone who will make sure every person that walks into his courtroom feels heard and that every person who walks out believes equal justice under the law is real in America.

“Don’t just take my word for it, the Judge was endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic parties of Grant County when he first ran for his current post, and was recommended to me by my judicial merit selection committee, which has both Republican and Democratic members, and he has earned an outstanding reputation for leading a courtroom where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

“If we want people in this country to have faith in our federal courts—an absolutely vital part our democracy’s checks and balances—then we need to appoint judges who will serve with integrity and independence, and who reflect the communities they serve.

“I know that Judge Estudillo will do exactly that.

“He will be an exceptional federal district court judge for the Western District of Washington.

“I urge each of my colleagues to join me in supporting Judge Estudillo’s nomination.”

 

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