Judge Marco Hernandez, Oregon U.S. District Court

Judge Marco Hernandez

Oregon U.S. District Court

Marco Antonio Hernandez was born in 1957 in Nogales, Arizona. He moved to Oregon as a teenager and began working as a dishwasher and janitor, working his way through community college. He earned an undergraduate degree from Western Oregon State College and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law.

He spent three years working for Legal Aid Services of Oregon, then joined the Washington County District Attorney’s office as a deputy prosecutor. He was appointed by Governor Barbara Roberts to the Washington County Circuit Court as a judge. He spent four years as the presiding judge there, and also served as the judge for the county’s Mental Health Court.

Hernandez was nominated by President George W. Bush to a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. The nomination was not acted on in a timely way and was returned. He was nominated to the same position by President Barack Obama, but once again the Senate failed to act. President Obama nominated him again and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, receiving his commission in February 2011. He became chief judge in December 2019.

In the News…

In a ruling issued last week, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to perform a deep drawdown of the Cougar Reservoir on the South Fork McKenzie River and spill operations at Foster Dam in the South Fork Santiam River in order to improve the flow of salmon and steelhead.

In 2008, the National Maritime Fisheries Services laid out a series of steps that the Army Corps should take to avoid jeopardizing the existence and recovery of the salmon and steelhead.

According to the lawsuit filed by Advocates for the West, the Army Corps’ inaction has led to declines in population for Chinook salmon and winter steelhead. The group alleged that between 40 to 90 percent of spawning habitat has been blocked.

Judge Hernandez wrote that the Corps has not begun any of the steps required and would not meet any future deadlines for doing so. He said that the actions are “measures that the Corps has failed to carry out, have already undergone environmental consultation, and were deemed necessary” to avoid jeopardizing the fish.

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Judge Hernandez today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse
1000 Southwest Third Avenue, Room 1507
Portland, OR 97204


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