On May 26, the American Judicature Society announced it is awarding Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of the Southern District of Texas with the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, which recognizes Article III judges whose careers have been exemplary, measured by their significant contributions to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law and the improvement of society as a whole. In a statement announcing the award, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who sat on a panel that selected the award’s recipient, noted Hinojosa’s work as chairman of the U.S. Sentencing Commission between 2003 and 2009. “He is credited with having stabilized the work of the Commission during the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker that declared the Sentencing Guidelines advisory. Judge Hinojosa also shepherded the Commission’s work in recommending and implementing measures to reduce the sentencing disparities between crack cocaine and cocaine powder offenses, an issue that had been under consideration by the Commission for many years,” Sotomayor said. Hinojosa says he’s honored to be selected. “When you looked at the list of people that have received it in the past, it’s really an honor to have received the award,” says Hinojosa, who sits in McAllen. Recent past recipients of the award include Anthony Scirica, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; Ann Williams, a judge on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; and 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Carolyn Dineen King.
-- John Council