HNBA Commends Justice Stevens for His Service and Looks Forward to President Obama’s Nomination of a Replacement

April 9, 2010

Washington, D.C. – Today, the nation learned that Justice John Paul Stevens will retire at the end of this U.S. Supreme Court term.  Román D. Hernández, HNBA National President, speaking on behalf of the association, commended Justice Stevens for his service to the American people.  Mr. Hernández stated, “Justice Stevens has contributed greatly to this nation and to American jurisprudence through his 34 years of distinguished service on our nation’s highest Court.  We take this opportunity to publicly thank him, and to acknowledge his steadfast devotion to the law.”

The appointment of Justice Stevens’s successor is important for all Americans, regardless of background, because of the key role of the Court as provided in the U.S. Constitution.  Like Justice Stevens, his replacement must have outstanding professional expertise, be undoubtedly well-qualified, have a demonstrated commitment to equal justice, have appropriate judicial temperament, and be someone of integrity.  Just as the HNBA did with the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the HNBA is committed to involvement in the process of identifying Justice Stevens’s successor.  This is consistent with the HNBA’s leadership role as the national voice of the Hispanic legal community.

Furthermore, the HNBA takes this opportunity today to remind the American people, the Administration, and the U.S. Senate that there are over 80 Hispanics who serve on federal courts and state courts of last resort that were identified by the HNBA in May of 2009 through its Supreme Court Committee, which illustrates the substantial pool of talented Hispanic jurists throughout the United States.  In addition, there are many other gifted and distinguished Hispanic lawyers in academia, government and the private sector.  The HNBA reserves the right to review the qualifications of any person nominated by the President, and to report to our community and to the broader public the HNBA’s judgment on a nominee’s qualifications.