Published on: Monday, December 4, 2023

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed U.S. Magistrate Irma Carrillo Ramirez as the first Latina judge to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, giving President Joe Biden his second appointee to the court (article available here). 

Ramirez was raised in Tokio, a tiny town south of Lubbock, and went on to earn a law degree from Southern Methodist University in 1991 before practicing law in Dallas, where she served as an assistant U.S. attorney. In 2002, Ramirez was appointed as a magistrate judge by the court’s district judges. Her father came to the United States from Mexico via the “Bracero” guest worker program.

Overall, the Senate has now confirmed 160 of Biden's judicial nominees. The vast majority of them have been women or people of color, in keeping with Biden's campaign pledge to bring greater diversity to the federal bench.

Ramirez, 59, fills a seat opened up when Gregg Costa, an Obama appointee, last year resigned from his position on the 5th Circuit at a relatively young age for a judge, 49, and joined a law firm.