Trump’s First Latino Judicial Nominee Confirmed 96-0

• Has assisted in about 50 human trafficking convictions
• Former Baker Botts partner

A former Baker Botts partner who left his firm to combat human trafficking will be a district judge, after the Senate unanimously confirmed him June 5.

The Senate confirmed Fernando Rodriguez Jr. to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, by a 96-0 vote.

Last year, Rodriguez became the first Latino judicial nominee selected by President Donald Trump. Trump’s judicial nominees have been overwhelmingly white.

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced the nomination to the full Senate in January.

Rodriguez clerked for Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht from 1997 to 1998.

Human Trafficking Convictions

Rodriguez left Baker Botts, Dallas, to become a field office director with the International Justice Mission, an international anti-slavery organization.

He helped local authorities convict about 50 criminals total in Bolivia and the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez said in responses to a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire.

Rodriguez highlighted the difficulty of obtaining justice for victims in Bolivia, in a promotional video for IJM.

“In Bolivia, if you sexually assault a child, you are literally more likely to die from slipping in the shower than ever being convicted for your crime,” Rodriguez said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick L. Gregory in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at