WASHINGTON (Dec. 13, 2012) — The United States Senate on Thursday confirmed Lorna Schofield to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
With today’s confirmation, Judge Schofield will join Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York as the only judges of Asian descent serving on the federal district courts of New York. While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) make up approximately 10 percent of New York City’s population, only two of the over 90 active and senior Article III judges currently serving the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are AAPI.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus, released the following statements congratulating Ms. Schofield and commending the United States Senate, especially Senators Reid and Schumer for this historic confirmation:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chair: “I congratulate Lorna Schofield on her well-deserved and historic confirmation as a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York. With this confirmation, Ms. Schofield is the first Filipina American to serve as an Article III judge in American history, which is no small feat. It heartens me to know that the judiciary, the branch of government dedicated to the interpretation of our most important cornerstone—the Constitution—is becoming more reflective of the dynamicism and diversity of our nation. I especially want to applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for nominating Ms. Schofield, and Majority Leader Reid and the Senate for ensuring that our courts are more representative of the populations they faithfully serve.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “Today’s historic confirmation of Lorna Schofield to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is not only a victory for the people of New York and the nation as a whole. It is also a giant step towards a more equitable representation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on the federal bench. Ms. Schofield is the first Filipina-American to serve as a federal judge in the history of the United States. Ms. Schofield has broken many barriers throughout her career, and today’s confirmation symbolizes a judiciary that better mirrors the nation it serves. As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I thank President Obama and Senator Schumer for their leadership on her nomination and Senator Reid for today’s confirmation. I also applaud the Obama Administration’s commitment to a highly qualified bench and the President’s unwavering commitment to diversity that truly reflects America.”
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Schofield was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. She then practiced law at the New York law firm Debevoise and Plimpton for over 20 years, becoming the firm’s first partner of color in 1991. Judge Schofield was also the first Asian American to chair the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association. In 2008, the National Law Journal named her one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.