SUPPORT-Community Support for the Nomination of the Hon. Kenly Kiya Kato to the United States District Court or the Central District of California

June 28, 2023


Charles E. Schumer, Majority Leader
United State Senate
322 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 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:

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. In particular, we wish to stress the importance to our community that she be confirmed for that position as soon as possible. She is committed to serve here in our local community, and we need her here right away.

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, which is designated as the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for 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. Judge Kato, once confirmed, will be our third.

Judge Kato’s confirmation is of paramount importance to our community. Because the number of cases filed here each year greatly exceeds the capacity of our two District Judges to handle, presently about 1/3 of all civil cases, and many additional criminal cases, are re-assigned to a District Judge in the Court’s other divisions hours away along the coast. This not only greatly increases the expense and inconvenience to counsel and the parties in traveling to those distant courthouses for hearings and trials, but also means that trials are heard by juries drawn from those coastal communities, rather than our Inland Empire community. This is a substantial access-to-justice issue. Confirming Judge Kato as a District Judge will go a long way to resolving this problem by increasing the capacity of our local division to hear those cases here in the Inland Empire.

We have formally supported Judge Kato’s nomination throughout the time it has been pending in the Senate not just because of our extreme need for an additional District Judge, but even more importantly because she is highly qualified for the position and has strong support within the community. We are pleased to see that her nomination is now third on the Senate’s executive calendar (No. 28), and will hopefully move up further with the anticipated cloture on the nomination of Tiffany M. Cartwright of Washington when the Senate resumes on July 10th.

We understand that nominations take a great deal of the Senate’s scarce calendar time to move through the process, and that there is much important business for the Senate to attend to. In prioritizing matters to bring forward, however, we wish to convey to you just how important this particular nomination is to our community. This nomination has been pending for nearly a year and a half, and we understand it to be the longest pending District Court nomination presently before the Senate. Keeping this position vacant has delayed the delivery of justice to our residents and businesses and made our cases far more expensive and burdensome than they otherwise would have been had Judge Kato already been confirmed and seated as a District Judge. We urge you please to move forward with the remaining steps necessary to bring Judge Kato’s nomination to the floor as soon as possible.

We thank you so much for your time and efforts to support the people of our region with the critical judicial resources we need.


Carole Beswick, CEO


cc: Congressmember Pete Aguilar
Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries
Congressmember Mark Takano
Senator Feinstein
Senator Hirono
Senator Padilla