Ezequiel D. Salinas

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Ezequiel David Salinas, Sr.
Judge of the 111th State District Court in Laredo, Texas
In office
President of the League of United Latin American Citizens
In office
Preceded by Filemon T. Martinez
Succeeded by Antonio M. Fernandez
Personal details
Born (1908-03-20)March 20, 1908
Laredo, Webb County
Texas, USA
Died March 13, 2007(2007-03-13) (aged 98)
Political party Democratic

(1) Elvira Salinas (died 1982)

(2) Angelina Casso de Salinas

Elvira Luisa Salinas (deceased)
E.D. Salinas, II (deceased)

Edward R. Salinas
Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Service/branch U.S. Foreign Service in Montevideo, Uruguay

Ezequiel David Salinas, Sr. (March 20, 1908 - March 13, 2007), was a Mexican American Democratic state court judge from Laredo, the seat of Webb County in south Texas, known for his advocacy of civil rights for the Hispanic community. In the late 1940s, Salinas was defeated in a race for the Texas House of Representatives but was elected to the 111th District Court in 1950. He served in that position until 1974.

Salinas was born to Ezequiel Salinas (1883–1976) and the former Luisa Gonzalez (1888–1972) of Laredo. He attended public schools and graduated from the former Laredo High School, thereafter Martin High School before he headed for the University of Texas to study law. He was awarded an E.D. Farmer International Scholarship in international law at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City.

He wrote numerous articles on civil rights during the early years of his law practice. In 1939, Salinas became the eleventh president, and the first Laredoan, of the national interest group, the League of United Latin American Citizens. In 1955, another prominent Laredoan, Oscar M. Laurel, assumed the LULAC presidency for a single one-year term. During the 1940s and 1950s, Salinas worked to establish LULAC chapters in parts of Texas where none had previously existed. He was instrumental in persuading contemporaries in Austin to rid Texas of the poll tax, which was finally ended nationally through the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution coupled with the Harper v. Virginia U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1966.

From 1935 to 1942, Salinas was an assistant district attorney in Webb County. He was also the attorney for the Laredo Housing Authority. In the latter capacity, Salinas worked to establish the first affordable housing complex in Laredo located at the intersection of Park Street and Interstate 35.

Odie Arambula, of the Laredo Morning Times, refers to a 1937 newspaper article in the then Laredo Times which described Salinas as "one of the brightest young men in Laredo fitted for the great future that appears in store for him."

At the outbreak of World War II, Salinas joined the U.S. Foreign Service and was a special assistant to the ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Salinas' former 111th court shared concurrent jurisdiction with the original 49th District Court. Salinas was assigned mostly civil cases and doubled as the juvenile court.

Salinas challenged Webb County government during a dispute in the 1960s in which he charged that the county commissioners were not adhering to state law in certain operations, as recommended by the county auditor, who was an appointee of the district court. He and the judge of the 49th District Court embroiled in a dispute with the county judge and commissioners in proceedings that news accounts called the "Battle of the Judges". In one instance, Arambula recalled that Judge Salinas summoned more than fifty business and civic leaders to hear testimony in a court of inquiry into operations of the Webb County road and bridge department. Salinas also presided over an investigation into management of a juvenile detention facility which was operated as part of the county jail.

Salinas was preceded in death by his first wife, Elvira Salinas (1909–1982); a daughter, Elvira Luisa Salinas, and a son, Dr. E. D. Salinas, Jr. (1938–1992). Survivors included his second wife, Angelina Casso de Salinas (born ca. 1913); his son and daughter-in-law, Edward R. Salinas and Cira R Salinas, and granddaughter, Cira E. Salinas. Other surviving grandchildren are Dr. Ezequiel D Salinas, III, Christina Salinas Castillon, and Dr. Adriana Salinas Gonzalez.

Preceded by
Filemon T. Martinez of Albuquerque, New Mexico
President of the League of United Latin American Citizens

Ezequiel David Salinas, Sr., of Laredo, Texas

Succeeded by
Antonio M. Fernandez of Santa Fe, New Mexico


http://www.lmtonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18081905&BRD=2290&PAG=461&dept_id=569392&rfi=6[dead link]


Odie Arambula, Laredo Morning Times