The HNBA Holds Another Successful Legislative Day and Capital Awards Dinner

May 17, 2010

(Washington, DC) – Last week, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) successfully held its annual Legislative Day, and closed with an inspiring Capital Awards Dinner.  The HNBA launched its Legislative Day with a Congressional breakfast during which participants from approximately 20 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia heard from key political and policy experts, followed by a keynote address by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

Senator Menendez delivered a powerful message, noting, “The HNBA plays a crucial role in representing and promoting the interests of the Latino legal community by supporting Hispanic judges, lawyers and law students, as well as efforts to achieve a greater representation of Hispanics overall in the legal profession. While we recently reached an important milestone with the historic confirmation of Justice Sotomayor, much more remains to be done. We must continue working hard to remove the obstacles and build on a foundation that will allow younger generations of Hispanic legal professionals to continue breaking barriers and assume positions of leadership. These are the leaders that will represent us, serve as role models, and make a difference in our communities.”

For the remainder of the day, HNBA Legislative Day participants discussed an HNBA model for an earned and secure path to citizenship and greater diversity in the federal judiciary with members of Congress in both the House and Senate. “Legislative Day is an important part of the HNBA’s advocacy work on legislative issues of concern to the U.S. Hispanic legal profession, and the Hispanic community at large,” said Román D. Hernández, HNBA National President.

The timing of this year’s Legislative Day was increasingly important given the renewed national debate on immigration reform, and in light of last week’s nomination of U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court.   The HNBA will conduct an extensive due diligence of Ms. Kagan’s qualifications as it did last year of then-nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia M. Sotomayor.

The HNBA concluded the day with its annual Capital Awards Dinner.  The HNBA recognized the exemplary leadership of Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC), and Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4) on a series of legislative priorities of utmost importance to the Hispanic community. Senator Graham and Congressman Gutierrez accepted their Capital Awards during the dinner, and shared inspiring remarks with approximately 140 HNBA members and friends.  The Capital Awards Dinner was a great end to an exciting day on Capitol Hill.