Support the Confirmation of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

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November 9, 2022


Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 230 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write to express our strong support for the confirmation of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The Leadership Conference intends to include your position on the confirmation of Ms. Martínez-Olguín in our voting record for the 117th Congress.

Ms. Martínez-Olguín has dedicated her entire career to the pursuit of equal justice for all. Since 2018, she has worked at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), first as a staff attorney and currently as a supervising attorney. Prior to this, she served as a senior immigrants’ rights attorney and a managing attorney for the immigrants’ rights project at Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto. Ms. Martínez-Olguín also worked as a civil rights attorney at the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. She held several positions with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation, first as a project fellow and then as a staff attorney with the Women’s Rights Project and a senior staff attorney with the Immigrants’ Rights Project. She spent three years as a staff attorney at Legal Aid at Work in their National Origin, Immigration and Language Rights Program and also served as a contract attorney with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Additionally, Ms. Martínez-Olguín trained future lawyers as a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of California Berkeley School of Law, she clerked for Judge David Briones on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Ms. Martínez-Olguín’s vast experience makes her a valuable addition to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Ms. Martínez-Olguín’s demonstrated commitment to civil and human rights is evidenced by her impressive work defending the rights of immigrants and those facing discrimination. For example, at NILC she leads class action litigation protecting the rights of people who are seeking a pathway to citizenship under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.[1] In particular, she drafted briefs for all stages of litigation, led court-ordered remedy negotiations with the federal government, and helped prepare for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. While at the ACLU, she successfully challenged discriminatory laws in Arizona and Nebraska that denied driver’s licenses to DACA recipients solely because of their immigration status.[2] Ms. Martínez-Olguín also defended the rights of those who have been discriminated against on the basis of religion. In one case, she successfully represented a Muslim woman who was fired from her job with Abercrombie & Fitch for wearing a hijab at work.[3] Ms. Martínez-Olguín’s outstanding background in civil rights is much needed on the federal bench.

In addition to the professional experience that Ms. Martínez-Olguín would bring to the Northern District of California, she would also bring important lived experiences. If confirmed, Ms. Martínez-Olguín would be only the second Latina to ever serve on this court.[4] Public trust in the judiciary is bolstered when our courts reflect the rich diversity of our country.[5] Different lived experiences, especially from communities that have been excluded from serving on our courts, bring varied perspectives to our federal bench that are crucial to improving judicial decision-making.[6] The confirmation of Ms. Martínez-Olguín would be an important step towards ensuring that our federal courts reflect and represent the diversity of our nation.

Ms. Araceli Martínez-Olguín is an excellent choice for this position, and we urge the Senate to confirm her. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Lena Zwarensteyn, senior director of the fair courts program, at (202) 466-3311. Thank you for your consideration.



Maya Wiley

President & CEO


Jesselyn McCurdy

Executive Vice President of Government Affairs



[1] Batalla Vidal v. Wolf, 1:16-CV-4756 & 1:17-CV-5228, 501 F. Supp. 3d 117 (E.D.N.Y. 2020); 2020 WL 7121849 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 4, 2020); 2022 WL 3083577 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2022).

[2] Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer, l2-CV-02546, 757 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2014).

[3] U.S. Equal Emp. Opportunity Comm ‘n v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., l 1- CV- 03162, 966 F. Supp. 2d 949 (N.D. Cal. 2013).

[4] Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-present, Federal Judicial Center (Accessed November 2022).

[5] Maya Sen, Diversity, Qualifications, and Ideology: How Female and Minority Judges Have Changed, or Not Changed, Over Time, Wis. L. Rev. 367 (2017).

[6] Kate Berry, Building a Diverse Bench: Selecting Federal Magistrate and Bankruptcy Judges, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and American Bar Association Judicial Division (2017).