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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, D.C. 20006

July 18, 2008

Contact: Les Jin
(202) 775-9555


Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is pleased that Kiyo A. Matsumoto was unanimously confirmed as a federal district court judge for the Eastern District of New York on July 17, 2008. Her confirmation achieves several milestones: Judge Matsumoto becomes the second-ever Asian Pacific American woman to serve as a federal district court judge, the third Asian Pacific American federal district court judge outside of California and Hawaii, and the eighth Asian Pacific American federal district court judge currently active out of approximately 850 federal judges nationwide.

“Judge Matsumoto’s depth of experience with the Eastern District of New York will make her an invaluable asset to this District Court,” said Helen B. Kim, President of NAPABA. Ms. Kim also notes that this is the first time the Asian Pacific American community has had eight sitting federal judges. However, she urges that much more improvement is needed: “There are currently no active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges and no Asian Pacific American United States Supreme Court justices.”

Judge Matsumoto has served as a Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York for nearly four years, presiding over numerous hearings and trials and managing a docket of over 300 cases. She previously served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York for over 20 years, including service as Chief and First Deputy Chief of the Civil Division of that office.

Judge Matsumoto’s appreciation for public service is reflected in her community involvement. She is a frequent speaker at events for various bar associations, community organizations, and educational institutions. Finally, Judge Matsumoto, a Japanese American whose parents were interned during WWII, has a particular appreciation for civil rights. This will serve her well on the District Court, as the judiciary faces complex and difficult issues involving national security, law enforcement, privacy, civil liberties, and race relations.

NAPABA has been working towards Judge Matsumoto’s nomination and confirmation since the summer of 2007. “NAPABA would like to thank President Bush and Senator Schumer of New York for the bi- partisan effort that made Judge Matsumoto’s nomination and confirmation possible,” said John C. Yang, Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Judiciary Committee. “We especially appreciate the leadership of Senator Schumer in recommending Judge Matsumoto and in ensuring her speedy confirmation. We are encouraged that Asian Pacific American representation on the federal bench will continue to improve.”


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 55 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.


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