Cornyn, Cruz on Gonzalez and Schydlower Nominations for Western District of Texas
DALLAS – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) released the following statements on the nominations of Ernesto “Ernest” Gonzalez and Judge Leon Schydlower for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Del Rio and El Paso, respectively:
“With decades of experience in Texas courtrooms, Judge Leon Schydlower and Ernest Gonzalez have the legal acumen and institutional knowledge required to excel on the federal bench,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I was proud to recommend each of them for these positions alongside Senator Cruz, and I look forward to voting on their nominations in the Senate soon.”
“Judge Leon Schydlower and Ernest Gonzalez were both subject to rigorous vetting by the bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee that Senator Cornyn and I use for all judicial nominations,” said Sen. Cruz. “Judge Schydlower has a wide range of experience, having served on the federal bench as a United States Magistrate Judge, as a federal prosecutor, as a Judge Advocate in both the Navy and the Air Force, and in private practice. Ernest Gonzalez has nearly three decades of legal experience, with hundreds of jury trials under his belt. Most of his career has focused on prosecuting cartels and other complex international drug trafficking cases. They have the experience to be effective U.S. district judges.”
The Senators recommended these nominees to President Biden following an extensive review and interview process of the candidate pools by the bipartisan Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee (FJEC). Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Cruz established the FJEC, a bipartisan panel of leading attorneys in Texas, to help identify the most qualified candidates to fill judicial vacancies. The panel reviewed applications, interviewed candidates, and made recommendations to the Senators, who interviewed individuals before making their recommendations to the President.
Ernest Gonzalez has been a Senior Attorney Advisor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section since 2023. Previously, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas from 2003 to 2023 and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas from 2000 to 2003. From 1994 to 2000, he worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Bexar County in San Antonio, Texas. He received his J.D. from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston in 1993 and his B.A. from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1987.
Judge Leon Schydlower has been a United States Magistrate Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas since 2015. He previously worked in private practice as a solo practitioner from 2002 to 2015 and was a partner and associate at El Paso’s Kemp Smith law firm from 2000 to 2002. Before returning home to El Paso, Judge Schydlower worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii from 1998 to 2000. From 1996 to 1998 Judge Schydlower served as a trial attorney on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Schydlower was in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 2000 to 2004 and has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Judge Advocate General’s Corps since 2010, where he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Judge Schydlower received his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1995 and his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993.