National Asian Pacific
American Bar Association
1612 K Street. N.W., Suite
Washington, D.C. 20006
March 13, 2008
John C. Yang
NAPABA Celebrates the Nomination of Kiyo Matsumoto
as Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York
Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is pleased that Kiyo Matsumoto was nominated by President Bush to serve as federal district court judge for the Eastern District of New York on March 11, 2007. If confirmed, Magistrate Judge Matsumoto would become the second-ever Asian Pacific American woman to serve as a federal district court judge and the third Asian Pacific American federal district court judge outside of California and Hawaii. She would become the eighth Asian Pacific American federal Senate-confirmed judge currently active out of approximately 850 nationwide.
Following the December 2007 confirmation of Amul Thapar as federal district court judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Magistrate Judge Matsumoto’s confirmation would mean that the proportion of active Asian Pacific Americans federal district court judges would finally reach one percent. “This is another potential milestone for the Asian Pacific American community,” said Helen B. Kim, President of NAPABA. “The addition of two Asian Pacific American judges in less than a year would be encouraging news, after 13 years of having only one Asian Pacific American Article III judge outside of California and Hawaii.” Ms. Kim noted, however, that: “Unfortunately, there currently are no active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges, including of course on the Supreme Court.”
Ms. Matsumoto presently serves as Federal Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, where she has managed a docket of over 300 cases for three years. Prior to her appointment as Federal Magistrate Judge, Ms. Matsumoto served the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York for over 20 years, as Chief and First Deputy Chief of the Civil Division.
Judicial appointments have become an increasing priority for NAPABA, and NAPABA has been working towards Ms. Matsumoto’s nomination for the last year. “NAPABA applauds President Bush for his leadership in nominating Magistrate Judge Matsumoto,” said Les Jin, Executive Director of NAPABA. “If she is confirmed, President Bush will have appointed a total of four Asian Pacific American federal district court judges, equaling the number appointed by President Clinton, the highest number by any President.”
John C. Yang, Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Judiciary Committee, added, “NAPABA is also grateful for the efforts of Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who recommended Magistrate Judge Matsumoto to the President. NAPABA hopes that the bi-partisan cooperation that led to Ms. Matsumoto’s nomination bodes well for her speedy confirmation.”
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 approximately 50 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.