Published: 25 April 2012 05:56 PM

President Obama has nominated Jesus Bernal, who heads the Inland-area public defender’s office in Riverside, as a judge for the vacant federal court bench in Riverside, Sen. Barbara Boxer’s office announced Wednesday.

Bernal served since July 2006 as the directing attorney for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Riverside, overseeing a staff that handles cases for indigent defendants in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

A cum laude graduate of Yale University who earned his law degree from Stanford, Bernal was admitted to the state bar in 1990.

If he is confirmed by the senate, he will become the only Latino district court judge serving the eastern division of the sprawling U.S. District Court’s Central District of California, Boxer’s office said.

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