Southern California breaking news and trends

Riverside gets a second federal judge; Jesus Bernal confirmed by Senate to district court

Courtesy Jesus Bernal

Jesus Bernal

There’s always been only one federal judge in Riverside County. Now there are two.  The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm the nomination of Jesus Bernal to the federal bench.

President Obama nominated Bernal to the district court last spring. The oldest son of two factory workers graduated from Yale and then Stanford law school, and for the past six years has headed the federal public defender’s office in Riverside. He’ll be the only Latino district judge in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

But the Senate still has four other California judicial nominees waiting for confirmation. Fernando Alguin, John Tigger, Bill Orrick and Troy Nunley are all considered "judicial emergency" nominations. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts says those vacancies are leaving an excessive number of cases for the rest of the judges on the bench.