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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez’s appointment to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, making her the first Latina judge on the conservative-leaning court.
President Joe Biden nominated Ramirez to the New Orleans-based court in April. Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both supported her nomination, giving her a clear path to confirmation. Though home state senators of federal judicial appointees no longer have as much sway in blocking nominations, having Cruz and Cornyn’s support offered a major boost.
“Born of Mexican immigrants in a small town, Judge Ramirez is in many ways, epitomizes the American dream,” Cornyn said previously on the Senate floor. “She has extensive experience presiding over thousands of civil cases, with her work serving as a model for others around the country.”
Cruz and Cornyn are both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which assesses judicial nominations before it goes to the full Senate. Judicial appointments need only a simple majority.
Ramirez is currently a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District of Texas, serving in that role for over two decades. She was previously an assistant U.S. attorney. Cornyn and Cruz both supported her unsuccessful nomination for a lower court seven years ago under then-President Barack Obama.
Born and raised in Terry County south of Lubbock, Ramirez attended West Texas A&M University before getting her law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1991.
The 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans, covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.