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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 7, 2000


I am pleased that the United States Senate, by a vote of 93-to-0, has confirmed Julio Fuentes to be a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. Judge Fuentes, whom I nominated one year ago tomorrow, is a richly experienced state court judge from Newark, New Jersey. He will be the first Hispanic judge to serve on the 3rd Circuit.

Despite this positive step, however, the Senate still must act on the 38 judicial nominees currently awaiting hearings or floor votes. In particular, the Senate is poised to act this week on the nominations of Richard Paez and Marsha Berzon to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Paez, the first Mexican American ever to serve as a federal district court judge in Los Angeles, has awaited a vote for more than four years, longer than any judicial nominee in modern history. Berzon has been before the Senate for two years. Both are highly qualified individuals who will serve the courts and our country with distinction.