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9 Goal IX 1 (2003)

handle is hein.journals/goal9 and id is 1 raw text is: J. Lo rules the charts and movies.
Real Women Have Curves takes
Sundance. Frida draws crowds at
upscale museums and suburban cine-
mas. The Grammys and MTV awards
go Latin. Mexican restaurants appear in
affluent neighborhoods. The fate of a
Latino child in Miami captivates the
media and talk shows for months, and
for an entire summer it seems everybody
is Livin' la Vida Loca. For years Latinos
anticipated the day when their sheer
numbers and a porous border would
make them part of mainstream
America. It seems that day is finally
here.
Clearly, America is now influenced in
the arts by Latino cultures. But what of
the true test of inclusion-political
appointments? In recent years Latino
bar associations have listed as a high
priority the appointment of Latinos to
the federal courts, including the U.S.
Supreme Court. Regional Latino bar
associations have similarly focused heav-
ily on statewide judicial appointments.
Yet there is no shortage of issues facing
Latinos. Statistics consistently list
Latino youth as being at high risk for
dropping out of school and for teen
pregnancy. Terrorist attacks on the
United States have raised extremely
important concerns about national
security and civil liberties.
Latinos may enjoy unparalleled pop-
ulation growth and increasing clout in
American politics, but clearly, partisan

politics raises a whole new set of prob-
lems. Recent events add urgency
President George W Bush's 2002 nomi-
nation of Washington, D.C., lawyer
Miguel Estrada to the highly visible
U. S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia exposed divisions within
Latino communities. The divisions were
widely reported by the media, including
the New York Times. Some Latinos
opposed the nomination, maintaining
Estrada was too conservative. Others
supported him, feeling comfortable with
his views or simply finding insufficient
grounds to oppose him. Still others were
cautious and noncommittal. The nomi-
nation stalled before the November 2002
elections; however, he is widely expected
to be renominated when Congress
reconvenes this year.
The November 2002 national elec-
tions clearly complicated the picture for

Latinos. Although Latino affinity with
traditional values such as family life,
faith, and military service has long been
known, Latinos, with some notable
exceptions, have traditionally voted
Democratic. But Republicans now hold
the majority of both houses of
Congress as well as the White House.
Further, Latino political power is
emerging at a time when Americans are
increasingly weary of civil rights claims
and worried about border security,
aggravating a long-standing sore point
with Latinos.
As a result, Latinos are searching for
lessons from Estrada's nomination. Jose
Feliciano is an attorney with Baker and
Hostetler, a member of the ABA Board
of Governors, and former chair of the
ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.
Reached by phone at his Cleveland
office, Feliciano pointed out that differ-
ing viewpoints within Latino communi-
ties concerning Estrada are not a fatal
flaw to the development of the Hispanic
community. He notes that the Latino
community is not monolithic, and it
shows in some sense a maturation of
the community ... The nomination
process is partisan politics, things like
this are going to occur-after all, we
live in a democracy.
The Hispanic National Bar
Association (HNBA), headquartered in
Washington, D.C., is the most promi-
nent Latino bar association to consider
continued on page 5

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
COMMISSION ON RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY IN THE PROFESSION

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