POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
GOVERNING JUDICIAL ENDORSEMENTS
CALIFORNIA LA RAZA LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
The principal goal of the California La Raza Lawyers Association (the “Association”) in endorsing candidates
for judgeships is to ensure the election or appointment of qualified judges to local, state and federal courts. Consistent
with that goal, the Association also seeks to increase the number of Latinos appointed to judgeships. The Association endorses
candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to equal treatment of all litigants and who have demonstrated involvement with,
support of and responsiveness to Latino issues, needs and concerns.
B. Guidelines And Parameters
1. The Judiciary
The Association will appoint a Chair of the Committee. The Chair and the President shall appoint four Chairs,
one for each of four District Committees: Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern. Each District Committee shall parallel
each of the four federal districts. Each District Chair will coordinate with local bar associations, members of the Latino
legal community and the Hispanic National Bar Association to form a District Judiciary Committee. Each District Chair will
report to the Chair of the Committee (the “Committee”).
Each District Committee will be primarily responsible
for assessing the qualifications of candidates for judicial positions situated in each District and recommending to the Board
whether such candidates should receive the endorsement of the Association. The Committee will also be responsible for follow-up
communication with the relevant agency making the judicial appointment, if applicable.
2. Criteria for Endorsement.
(a) Qualifications. In deciding whether to endorse a judicial candidate, the Association will consider the following factors,
among other things:
(i) the extent to which a candidate has demonstrated involvement with, support of and responsiveness
to Latino issues, needs and concerns;
(ii) litigation, adjudicative, administrative or professional experience;
demonstrated commitment to equal opportunity and equal justice under the law;
(iv) scholarship and oral and written communication
(v) integrity, character and common sense; and
(vi) membership in and demonstrated support of local bar
associations and community organizations, including, but not limited to, those related to the Latino community.
Criteria. The Association will endorse only candidates who have satisfied the statutory requirements for the position sought.
3. Rating Levels.
There will be no rating levels of candidates (e.g., qualified, very qualified, etc.) Rather, the
Association will endorse candidates who have demonstrated satisfaction of the criteria listed in Section I.B.2. Generally,
the Association will take no position regarding a candidate if it chooses not to endorse that candidate; however, the Association
may oppose a candidate whom it believes should not be elected or appointed.
4. Number of Endorsements Per Position.
The Association may endorse as many candidates as exist who meet its criteria for any particular judgeship.
A. Procedure For Application.
Candidates seeking an endorsement must comply with the following procedures:
Inform either (i) a Board member of the Association or (ii) a member of the Committee of his/her intent to request the Association’s
endorsement. Upon notification of this request, the Chair or appropriate District Chair will forward to the candidate these
policies and procedures and a Personal Data Questionnaire (a “Questionnaire”).
2. Obtain endorsement or
its equivalent from the local La Raza lawyers affiliate in the candidate’s district.
3. Forward the following information
to the Chair or District Chair:
(a) title of the position sought;
(b) any external deadline(s) relevant to the candidate’s
(c) name, title and address of the person to whom endorsement letter should be sent;
and other materials the candidate considers relevant to his/her qualifications;
(e) brief writing sample or a published
opinion, if applicable; and
(f) completed Questionnaire.
B. Procedure For Assessment
1. Upon receipt of the
above information, the District Committee will assess and conduct due diligence in establishing the candidate’s qualifications
based on the criteria set forth in Section I.B.2.
2. The District Committee shall confirm the local affiliate’s
endorsement and/or support of the candidate. With respect to candidates for judicial appointment, the local affiliates’
endorsement and/or support shall be given great weight. With respect to candidates for judicial election, the local affiliates’
endorsement and/or support shall be a prerequisite to the Association’s endorsement. In either case, if the local affiliate
is still in the process of evaluating a candidate, the Association shall provide the affiliate with a reasonable amount of
time under the circumstances to complete its review before acting. The Association reserves the right not to be bound by the
decision of any local affiliate.
3. Upon completion of the assessment described above, the District Committee may, in
its discretion, interview the candidate. The District Committee will then present its recommendation to the Board concerning
the candidate’s application, accompanied by any application materials the District Committee deems appropriate.
Following the Committee’s presentation, the Board may make an endorsement decision regarding the candidate at a regularly
scheduled Board meeting or by telephonic conference call as needed to expedite the process. Notwithstanding this Section II.B.2,
an endorsement decision may be made by concurrence of the following:
(a) Recommendation by the Judiciary Committee; and
(b) A majority of the Executive Board of the Association.
The Association will hold and treat
in strict confidence all documents submitted by the candidate and will limit disclosure to Board or Committee members. The
Committee shall obtain prior approval from the candidate in the event any other individual or organization requests any such
materials for judicial evaluation purposes.