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Estudillo gets seat on federal bench

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 15, 2021 1:07 AM

EPHRATA — Grant County Superior Court Judge David Estudillo has been confirmed for a seat on the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington.

The U.S. Senate determined Estudillo’s nomination by a 54-41 vote Tuesday. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Washington, announced the confirmation in an email released Tuesday. Estudillo was nominated by President Joe Biden in May.

Estudillo was appointed to a vacant seat on the Grant County Superior Court by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2015, replacing a retired judge, Evan Sperline. He ran for election for a full term in 2016, won, and was elected for a second term in 2020.

Currently, he is the superior court presiding judge and is president of the Washington Superior Court Judges Association.

Estudillo was born and raised in Sunnyside, according to a 2015 profile in the Herald. Members of his family own Estudillo Foods in Royal City and Mattawa, as well as the original store started by Estudillo’s father in Sunnyside. His parents immigrated from Mexico as agricultural laborers before becoming small business owners.

Estudillo is a graduate of the University of Washington and the UW law school and was admitted to the bar in 1999. He opened his own law firm in 2005, which had offices in both eastern and western Washington, including Moses Lake. His firm specialized in general civil litigation and immigration.

Inslee will appoint Estudillo’s replacement. Applications are submitted to the governor’s general counsel, which reviews all applications and conducts interviews with qualified candidates. The finalists will be interviewed by Inslee.

Once a new judge is appointed, he or she will serve until the next superior court election, which would be 2022.