Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Guadalupe Salinas

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(45 pages)

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Guadalupe Salinas was born in 1948 in McAllen, Texas. He received a B.A. in political science in 1970 and a J.D. in 1972, both from the University of Houston. Judge Salinas' career highlights include positions in the Harris County District Attorney's office, the U.S. Attorney's office, and the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a founder and former president of the Mexican American Bar Association. He was elected district judge in 1988 but was defeated for re-election in 1996. At the time of this interview he was a visiting judge for the State of Texas.

Interview Summary:

Judge Salinas provides information about his ancestry and his own family. He relates incidents from his school years and emphasizes the support he received from his teachers and parents, but recalls his developing awareness of discrimination. He points to his office as high school student council vice-president, contributions to the Law Review, and participation in LOMAS (League of Mexican American Students), MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization), and the Mexican American Bar Association as examples of the development of his leadership skills. Judge Salinas describes his legal and judicial career in some detail. He expresses his opinions of the importance of education to the Mexican American community and on the underpinnings of tension between ethnic and cultural groups. He describes the process of his appointment as district judge and compares it to the process for appointment to a federal judgeship. Salinas was elected to the district judgeship in 1988; he discusses his campaigns for the post in 1988 and 1996. He speaks of the derailment of his judicial career by an investigation conducted by the Harris County District Attorney, and of the trial and its financial costs. Salinas expresses his views on being a visiting judge and explains how the visiting judge system functions. He concludes the interview by expressing his satisfaction with his decision to put his family's needs ahead of further political ambition.

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