Pamela K. Chen confirmed to Federal Bench

On Monday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Pamela K. Chen to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Her confirmation makes her the first openly gay, Asian American person to preside on a federal bench: Lesbian Judge Pamela Chen Appointed to Federal Bench.

Chen, who was nominated by President Obama in August with a recommendation by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, was confirmed with little opposition. She also becomes the second Chinese American woman and one of only a few out lesbians to hold one of the country's 900 lifetime federal judgeship appointments.

The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Chen is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School. Since 1998, Chen has served as assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. In 2008, she served four months as deputy commissioner for enforcement for the New York State Division of Human Rights, having worked as a civil rights attorney earlier in her career.

Chen was nominated by President Barack Obama in August, who said at the time that he felt confident Chen would "serve on the federal bench with distinction."

Chen's confirmation last night was praised by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who originally recommended Chen to Obama and described her as a "trailblazer in every sense of the word."

"Ms. Chen's wealth of experience and devotion to public service make it clear that she will be an excellent judge," Schumer said in a statement. "Ms. Chen has proven time and again that she is a leader and a pioneer in the legal field. I have every confidence that she will serve her jurisdiction well."
More here: Senate confirms nation's first gay Asian-American judge.

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