President Obama nominated DeKalb County Georgia State Court Judge Dax Lopez for Federal Judgeship. Because Georgia Senator David Perdue opposed his nomination, Judge Lopez will never get a hearing in the United States Senate. Perdue opposed Judge Lopez because of his association with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.
To begin with, I know nothing about this organization. What I do know is that no nominee should be rejected as a result of an association with any group; his record should be viewed as a whole. When you take away party politics, what we have lost here is a good judge. Dax Lopez has been a fair jurist to the state and the defense. He also has the judicial temperament for the job.
This was not a nomination for an appellate position. That is key fact that makes Senator Perdue's opposition entirely unjustified. As a trial judge, Judge Lopez would be bound by precedent. Every one of his decisions would be reviewable by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. His personal politics would mean nothing.
A Republican Governor appointed Judged Lopez in a county dominated by the Democratic party. That fact notwithstanding, he has been able to garner support by the majority of attorneys and citizens of DeKalb County Georgia. He earned his appointment to the Federal Bench and will never get a hearing before the United States Senate.
I have never had a personal conversation with Judge Lopez. I have appeared before him, but I doubt he even knows my name. As am attorney that practices in DeKalb County State Court, these events sadden me.