Judge Salvador Mendoza Jr., a former migrant farm worker in the Yakima Valley, has been nominated by President Obama to the United States District Court.
Mendoza, currently a Superior Court judge for Benton and Franklin counties, would be the first Hispanic appointed to the Eastern District bench if confirmed.
Mendoza’s appointment must still be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full U.S. Senate.
Mendoza is widely respected within the state’s legal community and has dedicated much of his personal and professional life working on behalf of children and families throughout Eastern Washington.
“Judge Mendoza represents the very best of Washington state’s honest, hard working spirit, and I’m thrilled that President Obama has nominated him to continue serving our state as a federal judge,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who recommended Judge Mendoza to President Obama for the Eastern District.
Early in his career, Men-doza worked briefly as an intern for Senator Murray.
From 1999 until Governor Jay Inslee appointed him to the Superior Court, Mendoza practiced law in Washington state, focusing on criminal defense, while simultaneously serving as a judge pro tempore in several district, municipal and juvenile courts in Benton and Franklin counties.
His previous experiences include positions as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and an assistant attorney general in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office.
Mendoza is a longtime volunteer, officer and board member of the Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society and has served as a board member for the Benton Franklin Circle of Hope / Drug Court Board and for the United Way of Benton and Franklin County.
He received his J.D. in 1997 from the UCLA School of Law and his B.A. in 1994 from the University of Washington.
The Eastern District of Washington includes Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima counties.