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Click here to download a PDF copy of the press release.


NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555

May 10, 2011

AAJC Contact: Leonie Campbell-Williams (443) 803-1465


WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate voted 56-42 to confirm Judge Edward M. Chen to be a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

"This is a day of true celebration as we congratulate Judge Chen on his long-awaited confirmation vote," said Paul O. Hirose, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "He has been an exemplary federal magistrate judge, and we know that he will be an equally excellent federal district court judge. Judge Chen has been an active member of the Asian Pacific American community for a long time and a hero to many of us, and we are so proud of him today."

With Senate confirmation of the nomination of Judge Chen, President Obama has confirmed more Asian Pacific American federal judges than any other President in history. There are now 14 active Asian Pacific American Article III judges in the nation, 7 of whom were nominated by President Obama.

"Judge Chen has been a tremendous leader within the Asian Pacific American community and a great example to all Americans. We could not be happier for Judge Chen, or prouder of his achievement," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center. "The Asian Pacific American community applauds the President's continued commitment to diversity and thanks all those Senators who agreed to end debate on his nomination and give Judge Chen the vote that he deserves."

Judge Chen is the first Asian Pacific American to serve as an Article III judge in San Francisco. He has served as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Northern District of California since 2001, where he was the first-ever Asian Pacific American federal judge in the 150-year history of that court. Prior to the bench, Judge Chen had over 20 years of litigation experience, including serving on the legal team that overturned the conviction of Fred Korematsu in a coram nobis case. Judge Chen is the recipient of numerous awards, including "Judge of the Year" from the Barristers Club of San Francisco in 2007, California Law Review's "Alumnus of the Year" in 2002, and NAPABA's highest honor, its Trailblazer Award, in 2001.

NAPABA and AAJC are proud to have supported Judge Chen. The organizations applaud President Obama for his nomination, Senate Majority Leader Reid for bringing Judge Chen's nomination for a vote, and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her stalwart support of Judge Chen. NAPABA and AAJC also thank California Sen. Barbara Boxer and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy for their unwavering support of his nomination, and the Senate Republican Leadership for agreeing to the expedited time agreement before Judge Chen's roll call vote.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 61 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its sister organizations - the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles - to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.


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