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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2013
NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027
NAPABA and AAJC Applaud Confirmation of
Pamela K.M. Chen to the Eastern District of New York
WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate confirmed Pamela
K.M. Chen by a voice vote to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York. She becomes the first openly gay Asian
Pacific American to serve on the federal judiciary.
"NAPABA congratulates Pam Chen on her historic
nomination and confirmation and is proud to have supported her in the
nomination and confirmation process along with the LGBT community," said
Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar
Association (NAPABA). "We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer
for their continued commitment to diversifying the federal judiciary."
For almost 14 years, Judge Chen has served as an
assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she
has served as chief of the Civil Rights Section for more than eight
years, and previously as a deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section
of the Criminal Division. She also served as a deputy commissioner for
enforcement at the New York State Division of Human Rights, as a trial
attorney in the Justice Department in Washington D.C., and in private
practice. Judge Chen has won numerous awards for her work, particularly
in addressing human trafficking.
"Judge Chen's confirmation is a step in the right
direction," said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian
American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for
Advancing Justice. "There are more than 40 federal District Court
judges in New York City. Judge Chen will become the third Asian Pacific
American, bringing APA representation on the bench more in line with our
14 percent share of the city's population."
Judge Chen's confirmation increases the number of
active Asian Pacific American Article III judges to 18 nationwide: two
federal Appellate Court judges and 16 federal District Court judges.
President Obama nominated a record 17 Asian Pacific American to the
Article III courts. Three more Asian Pacific American Article III
nominees are pending in the Senate: Sri Srinivasan, nominee for the U.S.
Circuit Court for the D.C. Circuit; Raymond T. Chen, nominee for the
U.S. Circuit Court for the Federal Circuit; and Derrick Kahala Watson,
nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. NAPABA
and AAJC urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm these individuals,
who are highly qualified for the federal bench.
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 (www.advancingequality.org), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice.org), works closely with the other Advancing Justice members - the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco (www.asianlawcaucus.org) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles (www.apalc.org)
- 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.