September 24, 2022
Senator Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Richard Durbin
United State Senate
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Re: Community Support for the Nomination of the Hon. Kenly Kiya Kato to the United States District Court or the Central District of California
Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Chair Durbin:
We write to express our continuing strong support for the nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to serve as United States District Judge for the Central District of California, and in particular our community here in Southern California’s Inland Empire. We ask that you do whatever you can to move her nomination forward so that she can be promptly seated as a District Judge and help with our community’s extreme need for another Article III judge.
Our group, Inland Action, is a non-profit, non-partisan, corporation of public-spirited leaders who have joined together to be catalysts for the economic well-being of the Inland Empire region of California since 1962. The Inland Empire is comprised of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, within the Central District of California. We are a community of 4.6 million people, covering 27,408 square miles. Our population exceeds that of 25 States, and our land mass is comparable to the State of West Virginia, yet we presently have only two District Judges to handle the cases arising here, including Judge Sunshine Sykes, who the Senate confirmed in May of this year.
While we are very thankful for the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Sykes’s nomination, our community is still in extreme need of another District Judge to handle the high number of federal cases arising here. Judge Kato had her hearing before the Judiciary Committee in February (concurrently with Judge Sykes), but unfortunately received a tie vote there and has been waiting since that time for the necessary discharge petition to bring her nomination forward.
Judge Kato is eminently qualified to be a District Judge. For the past several years she has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge right here in the Eastern Division. We know her, we know her qualifications, and we know she will make an excellent District Judge. She has been rated well qualified by the American Bar Association, and the feeling within the local legal community is the same.
We understand that nominations take a great deal of the Senate’s scarce calendar time to move through the process, but our community need for this nomination in particular is great. We urge you to please to find the time on the Senate calendar as soon as possible to move forward with a discharge petition, and then a floor vote, on Judge Kato’s nomination. We thank you so much for your time and efforts to support the people of our region.
cc: Senators Feinstein, Padilla and Hirono