Last Monday, Wells Fargo's refused to consent to the jurisdiction of a Black female U.S. District Court judge in a case where the bank allegedly used race as a determining factor in its mortgage refinance approval process, CBS 42 reports.
According to the report, Wells Fargo filed its objection to Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore, who’s currently the only Black woman sitting on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
After serving 13 years as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland, Westmore was appointed as Magistrate Judge in 2012, She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco.
"Coming on the heels of the historic appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Wells Fargo's rejection of the handling of a discrimination class action case by a Black female judge reeks of racism," said Trent Copeland, the plaintiff's attorney.
Judge Jacqueline S. Corley has been assigned to the case in the San Francisco Division.
"We are pleased that we will be able to present our strong case to Judge Corley, whose participation in a cameras-in-the-courtroom pilot project will add much-needed public transparency to the important principles at issue," Copeland said.
Back on March 18, 2020, Aaron Braxton filed this discrimination class action on his behalf and on behalf of the thousands of Black homeowners impacted as Wells Fargo “systematically discriminated against Black homeowners in its evaluation of refinancing applications.”
Copeland juxtaposed the lawsuit that alleges racial discrimination towards Black homeowners and the bank’s refusal to have a Black woman preside over the case as two sides of the same coin.
"It's more than ironic that in responding to litigation over its redlining of Black mortgage applicants, Wells Fargo sought to redline the federal court," Copeland said. "It speaks directly to the bank's treatment of our clients."