November 09, 2021

Rep. Correa Introduces Legislation to Name Post Office after the first Latino Judge in Orange County

Washington, D.C. — Today, Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) introduced legislation to designate the United States Post Office located on 615 North Bush Street in Santa Ana to Judge James Perez Post Office, in honor of the first Latino judge in Orange County.


Rep. Lou Correa said: “Judge Perez’s story is the American story. By renaming the post office, we honor his service to our nation, as well as his devotion to his country and the legal community. Judge Perez was a trailblazer for the Latino community in Southern California. As the first Latino lawyer in Orange County and the first Latino to serve on the Orange County Municipal and Superior Courts, his example of service and accomplishment are a north star to us all. I couldn’t be more excited to honor the strength of his legacy through this initiative.”


Background: The Honorable Judge James Perez, who grew up working in the tomato fields in Southern California, proudly served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946. Upon returning home from WWII, he enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a J.D. at the School of Law. 

Judge Perez’s storied career was filled with many noteworthy “firsts.” After he passed the bar exam, he became the first Latino attorney in Orange County. Then, he became also the first Latino judge to serve on the Orange County Municipal Court after being appointed by Governor Pat Brown in 1966. Nine years later, in December of 1975, Governor Jerry Brown made him the first Latino judge to serve on the Orange County Superior Court. He held his title as Superior Court judge for 11 years and retired in 1987. 

Judge Perez’s legacy lives on through two of his sons––the Honorable Judge Michael Perez and the Honorable Judge Joe T. Perez––who currently serve as Orange County Superior Court judges.