The DeKalb County jurist who would have been Georgia’s first Latino federal judge said he was frustrated that “divisive politics” sank his nomination to the bench.
Dax Lopez’s nomination was scuttled Wednesday after Republican Sen. David Perdue declined to back his appointment to the U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Perdue said he was “uncomfortable” with Lopez’s participation in the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials after he became a DeKalb State Court judge.
Sen. Johnny Isakson said Thursday that he respected Perdue’s decision but is “disappointed that Judge Lopez won’t get a hearing.”
Lopez, too, said he was upset that he didn’t get a chance to tell his side of the story in a “full and fair vetting process.”
Here’s Lopez’s full statement:
When I entered this federal nomination process, I expected to receive a full and fair vetting process. Indeed, as a judge, I appreciate the need to hear all sides of an issue before making a decision. Unfortunately, given the divisive politics that now permeate even judicial nominations, I was deprived of an opportunity to address any concerns about my nomination directly and in my own words in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
While I am disappointed in the outcome, I take immense pride in the fact that not one of my detractors was able to find issue with any portion of my judicial record, a record that reflects fairness, efficiency, and a fierce fidelity for the law as it is. I am also deeply grateful for the overwhelming support I received throughout from some of the most prominent and well respected attorneys in the State of Georgia, including several past presidents of the State Bar of Georgia.
As a judge, I love and respect the law. My commitment to following the law and to ensuring justice for all will remain steadfast and unwavering. It has been my honor to serve the citizens of DeKalb County, and I look forward to continuing to serve them with honor and distinction.