Judge Roger Benitez, Southern California U.S. District Court

Judge Roger Benitez

Southern California U.S. District Court

Roger Thomas Benitez was born in December 1950 in Havana, Cuba. He earned an A.A. degree from Valley College, a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University, and a Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law. He engaged in the private practice of law in Imperial County, California, for 19 years. He was a judge on the California Superior Court for four years and served as an instructor for Imperial Valley College.

He was appointed to serve as a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. President George W. Bush nominated Benitez to a seat on that court. He was confirmed by the Senate and received his commission in June 2004. He assumed senior status at the end of 2017.

He is married to Cathryn C. Carr.

In the News…

A Southern California school district has been blocked by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez from punishing teachers who notify parents about the purported gender transition of their child in violation of district policy. 

In issuing a temporary injunction, Judge Benitez said the teachers are likely to prevail on claims of religious freedom. He noted that the school district considers “communicating to a parent the social transition of a school student to a new gender” to be “discrimination/harassment” despite “having little medical or factual connection to actual discrimination or harassment.” 

“Parents have a right, grounded in the Constitution, to direct the education, health, and upbringing and to maintain the well-being of their children,” he said, citing nine Supreme Court rulings. 

“Parental involvement is essential to the family maturation of schoolchildren,” he wrote. ”The Escondido Union School District has adopted a policy without parent input that places a communication barrier between parents and teachers. Some parents who do not want such barriers may have the wherewithal to place their children in private schools or homeschool, or to move to a different public school district. Families in middle or lower socio-economic circumstances have no such options.“ 

“For those parents, the new policy appears to undermine their own constitutional rights while it conflicts with knowledgeable medical opinion,” he added. “An order enjoining the new district policy is in the best interests of the entire community, as well as the plaintiff teachers.” 

The schools’ policies create a “trifecta of harm,” Judge Benitez said. 

Contact this Leader…

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

The Honorable Robert T. Benítez
Southern California U.S. District Court
Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse
333 West Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101


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