Esther Salas

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Esther Salas
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Assumed office
June 14, 2011
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Katharine Sweeney Hayden
Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
In office
2006 – June 14, 2011
Personal details
Born (1968-12-29) December 29, 1968 (age 48)
Monterey Park, California
Education Rutgers University B.A.
Rutgers School of Law–Newark J.D.

Esther Salas (born December 29, 1968) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey sitting in Newark, New Jersey. She had previously served as a United States Magistrate Judge of the same court since 2006. Salas is the first Hispanic woman to serve as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey, and also the first to serve as a United States District Judge in the District of New Jersey.[1]

Early life[edit]

Esther Salas is from Monterey Park, California,[1] and is the daughter of Cuban and Mexican immigrants.[2] 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.[1] After graduating high school in 1987, she attended Rutgers University, where she dormed on campus, and was active in clubs and activities. Salas graduated from Rutgers in 1991 with her Bachelor of Arts, and in 1994 from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark with a Juris Doctor.[1][2][3] She credits her success during her education and during her later professional life to the Minority Student Program.[1][4]

Career[edit]

Legal career[edit]

Following law school graduation, Salas served as a law clerk to 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 and 2006, she served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of New Jersey, representing indigent defendants in federal matters.[1][2] 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.[2][4]

Judicial career[edit]

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,[2] in which she served for five years.[1] 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.[5] Obama nominated her on December 1, 2010, to a seat vacated by the retiring Katharine Sweeney Hayden.[3] On June 14, 2011, the Senate confirmed Salas, making her the first Latina on the District Court of New Jersey.[1][4][6][7]

Notable cases[edit]

In 2013 Judge Salas presided over a notable public corruption case.[8]

Judge Salas was the Judge responsible for the trial of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe "Joe" Giudice. They were both sentenced for bank fraud on October 2, 2014.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Salas is married to Mark Anderl, with whom she has a son, Daniel.[1] She is a fan of the New York Mets.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Katharine Sweeney Hayden
Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
2011–present
Incumbent