While praised for his bipartisan judicial selections, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has come under fire from Latino legal groups for a lack of racial diversity in his appointments to the bench.
On Thursday, the governor announced the appointment of four new Los Angeles County judges: former federal prosecutor Ray G. Jurado; defense attorney and former Los Angeles Police Officer Juan Carlos Dominguez; attorney Steven D. Blades; and administrative law judge Mary Lou Villar.
Schwarzenegger's advisors have insisted race plays no part in his selections.
But one of his former critics said the new appointments better represent a diverse city.
"In order to sustain the credibility of our judicial system, it is critical that the appointment of judges at a minimum not illustrate
Jurado, 45, a Democrat, is an attorney for the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which provides oversight of the Sheriff's Department. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a law degree from UCLA.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday April 22, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction
Judges named: An article in Friday's California section said Ray G. Jurado was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Los Angeles Superior Court bench created by the death of Judge Richard Denner. That vacancy was created by Denner's retirement.
Jurado fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Richard Denner.
Dominguez, 52, a Republican and an attorney of 16 years, is an LAPD veteran who got his law degree from Glendale University.
He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Rodney Nelson.
Blades, 52, a Republican, is a partner in the law firm Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez. He earned his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law.
Blades fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Isumu Doi.
Villar, 52, a Democrat, is the former directing attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation. She earned her degree from the UCLA School of Law.
Villar fills the vacancy created by the death of Judge Jean Matusinka.