|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey|
June 14, 2011
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||Katharine Hayden|
|Born|| December 29, 1968
Monterey Park, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Rutgers University, Newark
Esther Salas is a federal district judge for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey sitting in Newark, New Jersey, which she joined in 2006. On June 14, 2011, the United States Senate confirmed Salas to a life judgeship on the Court. She is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a United States magistrate judge in the District of New Jersey, and the first Hispanic woman to be appointed a U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey.
Esther Salas is from Monterey Park, California, and is the daughter of Cuban and Mexican immigrants. At the age of five, she, her mother, Aurelia Salas, along with her siblings, moved to Union City, New Jersey, where they lived on 27th Street, and later, 15th Street and Bergenline Avenue. Though she lost contact with her father when she moved from the West Coast, she would later reconnect with him during the course of the background check she underwent upon being appointed a federal judge. Growing up indigent, Salas recalls having to translate for her mother at the Welfare office, and later helping friends with various problems facing their lives, an activity that led to her pursuit of a career focusing on human services. Salas attended Emerson High School, where her extracurricular activities included cheerleading.
After graduating high school in 1987, she attended Rutgers University, where she dormed on campus, and was active in clubs and activities. She credits her success during her education and during her later professional life to the Minority Student Program. Salas graduated from Rutgers in 1991 with her B.A., and in 1994 from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark with a law degree.
Following law school graduation, Salas served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene J. Codey, Jr., of the Superior Court of New Jersey. From 1995 to 1997, Salas worked for Garces & Grabler, P.C., where she practiced criminal matters in superior and municipal courts. Between 1997 to 2006, she served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of New Jersey, representing indigent defendants in federal matters.
Salas served as president of both the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and the Hispanic Bar Foundation of New Jersey. She has also been a member of the Governor’s Hispanic Advisory Committee for Policy Development, the Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, and the Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts.
In 2006, Salas was selected from a group of 99 applicants as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey, becoming the first Latina in that position, in which she served for five years. On August 31, 2010, Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, announced they would recommend to President Barack Obama that Salas be nominated to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey as a U.S. District Court judge. Obama nominated her on December 1, 2010, to a seat vacated by the retiring Katharine Sweeney Hayden. On June 14, 2011, the Senate confirmed Salas in a unanimous voice vote. She received her commission on June 14, 2011.
In 2013 Judge Salas presided over a notable public corruption case.
Salas is married to Mark Anderl, with whom she has a son, Daniel.
- Biographical Directory of Federal Judges
- Sanabria, Santo. "Local roots". The Union City Reporter. July 24, 2011. pages 1 and 12
- "SPOTLIGHT ON: Hon. Esther Salas ’94 – First Latina on New Jersey District Court". Rutgers School of Law. accessed July 28, 2011.
- Symons, Michael (December 2, 2010). "Cecchi, Salas nominated as federal judges in New Jersey". APP.com. Asbury Park Press. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
- Ryan, Joe. "Menendez, Lautenberg support magistrates from Newark to become federal judges". NJ.com. August 31, 2010
- Hon. Esther Salas ’94 – First Latina on New Jersey District Court
|Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey