Judge Myrna Pérez was confirmed by the Senate on October 25th, 2021. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a leading voting rights lawyer who served as director of the Brennan Center’s Voting Rights and Elections Program. She litigated numerous cases in which she fought to protect the right to vote:
In 2018, Florida voters ratified a historic ballot initiative to restore the voting rights of thousands of felons in the state, so long as they completed their sentences. However, the governor and state legislature undermined the measure by passing a statute that conditioned ex-felons’ right to vote on how much money they had by requiring them to pay all fines and fees before they could vote. Pérez and the Brennan Center represented clients challenging the measure in court.
Pérez was part of the legal team that sued Texas officials over SB 14, which was the most restrictive photo ID law passed in the United States. The Fifth Circuit ruled that SB 14 violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
In 2007, Pérez and other voting rights advocates filed a lawsuit challenging Florida’s requirement that the driver’s license or Social Security number on a voter registration form must be verified before someone can be registered to vote. Records showed that the practice unfairly disenfranchised over 76,000 Floridians and had an outsized impact on minority voters.
Upon confirmation, Pérez became the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Second Circuit since Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Pérez received her B.A. from Yale University in 1996, her M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1998, and her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2003.