jacqueline nguyen and john lee confirmed as federal judges

This is kind of a judicial double whammy... in a good way. The Senate confirmed Jacqueline H. Nguyen of Los Angeles to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, making her the first Asian American woman ever to sit on a federal appellate court: Jacqueline H. Nguyen of L.A. confirmed to U.S. 9th Circuit Court.

The Senate also approved John Lee for a federal judicial post on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, making him only the second Korean American to serve as a federal district court judge in the country: US Senate confirms judicial candidate John Lee for Northern District of Illinois.

Here's an excerpt from NAPABA/AAJC's press release on these historic confirmations, with more information on Judge Nguyen and Judge Lee:
"For the first time in American history, an Asian Pacific American woman will serve as a federal appellate court judge. We are confident that Judge Nguyen will serve the country well in this new role," said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. "We are also delighted that Senator Durbin has continued his commitment to promoting well-qualified, diverse nominees for the federal bench. Judge Lee's confirmation will help ensure that Midwesterners appearing in federal court will see a judicial system that reflects the diversity of America."

Judge Nguyen has made history in many of her positions. She has served as a federal district court judge for the Central District of California since 2009, where she was the first Vietnamese American Article III judge in the country and the first Asian Pacific American female Article III judge in California. Prior to that, she served as a California state court judge for seven years, where she was the first Vietnamese American female state court judge in the country. Judge Nguyen was born in Dalat, South Vietnam, the daughter of a South Vietnamese Army major who worked closely with U.S. intelligence officers. She escaped the fall of South Vietnam with her family in a harrowing trip, that included a plane ride filled wall to wall with people, temporary separation from her father, through a chaotic Saigon, to the Philippines, to Guam, and eventually, to Camp Pendleton, California. In the U.S., Judge Nguyen worked hard to achieve the American dream, assisting her mother in cleaning dental offices and at a family donut shop, earning a four-year full tuition college scholarship, and then graduating from UCLA School of Law.

Judge Lee immigrated to the U.S. when he was only five years old. Currently, he is a partner with Freeborn & Peters in Chicago, where he litigates complex commercial cases. Prior to entering private practice, Judge Lee represented the government in environmental litigation nationwide at the U.S. Department of Justice. Throughout his career, he has been very active in serving the community, particularly in providing legal services to those in need. He was the President of the Board of Directors for the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services and for Asian Human Services, and was a co-founder of the Willow Creek Legal Aid Clinic. He has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications for his work, including "Leading Lawyer" in Commercial Litigation and Class Action/Mass Tort Defense, Leading Lawyers Network (2008, 2009, 2010), and "40 Attorneys Under 40 in Illinois to Watch," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (2004). He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Also the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus' press release on the newly confirmed Asian American federal judges: CAPAC Chair Applauds Groundbreaking Judicial Confirmations.

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