Judge Nancy Maldonado Will Bring Critical Experience and Diversity to the Seventh Circuit

Courts News 03.20.24

Contact: Patrick McNeil, [email protected]

WASHINGTON Lena Zwarensteyn, senior director of the fair courts program at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on several judicial nominees, including the nomination of Judge Nancy Maldonado to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois):

“As we witnessed during today’s hearing, Judge Nancy Maldonado is tremendously qualified and will be a fair-minded judge on the Seventh Circuit. Already, Judge Maldonado made history as the first Latina lifetime judge in Illinois and is now poised to become the first Latino/a judge to serve on this court. She brings to the bench an even-handed approach to the law and commitment to the rights of all people. Before her judicial service on the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Maldonado had an impressive legal career in employment law and showed a sincere dedication to protecting the rights of working people, including migrant farmworkers. When confirmed to the Seventh Circuit, she will add incredibly valuable civil rights experience to the appellate bench.

“We celebrate this historic moment for our judiciary, and we thank President Biden, Chair Durbin, and Senator Duckworth for their leadership in nominating Judge Maldonado to this important seat. Her crucial professional and lived experiences represent the kind of critically needed diversity that we know helps to build public trust in our courts, improves judicial decision-making, and strengthens our democracy.

“We now urge the full Senate to swiftly confirm her. Much more progress is urgently needed to build an equal justice judiciary that works for everyone, but confirming Judge Maldonado to the Seventh Circuit is a necessary step toward ensuring that our federal appellate courts truly reflect and represent the diversity of our nation.”

Read The Leadership Conference’s letter in support of Judge Nancy Maldonado.

In our nation’s history, there have only ever been 58 lifetime confirmations of Latina judges and justices — representing less than 1.5 percent of the roughly 4,000 lifetime jurists who have served. About one third of these confirmations (19) have taken place during the Biden administration. Eight of our 13 federal circuit courts have never had a Latina judge — the First, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and DC Circuits. Judge Maldonado is poised to become the first Latino/a judge on the Seventh Circuit and just the 10th Latina to serve as a federal appellate court judge. Learn more about Latina lifetime judges here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.