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NAPABA Contact: Brian Wang (202) 775-9555

December 1, 2009

AAJC Contact: Nicole Duran (202) 296-2300, ext. 144

Asian American Leaders Applaud Jacqueline Nguyen's Historic Confirmation

WASHINGTON — Another racial hurdle was cleared today when the Senate confirmed Jacqueline H. Nguyen to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, making her the first Vietnamese American Article III judge.

“Judge Nguyen has made history and we congratulate her,” said Joseph J. Centeno National Asian Pacific American Bar Association president. “She has an excellent record with the California Superior Court and we are confident that she will serve as an outstanding District Court judge.”

The Senate approved Judge Nguyen this afternoon by a vote of 97-0. Judge Nguyen will also be the first Asian Pacific American female Article III judge in California history. Article III judgeships are lifetime presidential appointments.

“We have historically stressed the importance of diversity in the judiciary and hope that Judge Nguyen’s confirmation is the first of many which will change the makeup of the federal judiciary to better reflect the American people,” said Karen K. Narasaki, Asian American Justice Center president and executive director.

Prior to her Superior Court appointment, Judge Nguyen served in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office. Before that, she was a commercial disputes, intellectual property and construction defects attorney with Musick, Peeler & Garrett in Los Angeles.

“This is an historic hearing and an historic day …the progress that we make today is long overdue,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy stated after his panel approved Judge Nguyen in September.

Centeno and Narasaki also thanked President Obama for nominating Judge Nguyen and California Sen. Diane Feinstein for recommending her.


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 62 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 is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates the Asian American Institute in Chicago the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles and nearly 100 community partners in 47 cities, 25 states and the District of Columbia.


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