WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2013) — The United States Senate on Monday confirmed Judge Pamela K.M. Chen to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by a voice vote.
Since 1998, Pamela Ki Mai Chen has been an Assistant United States Attorney in New York, aside from a brief four-month period in 2008, when she served as Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement for the New York State Division of Human Rights. During her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Chen served as Chief of the Civil Rights Section and Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section.
Chen’s experience also includes being a trial attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division at the United States Department of Justice from 1991 to 1998. Chen received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1986 and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in 1983.
Since 2009, President Obama has more than doubled the number of AAPI federal judges. With Judge Chen’s confirmation, there are now 18 Asian American and Pacific Islander Article III judges nationwide.
Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements congratulating Judge Chen:
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair: “I am thrilled that the Senate has voted to confirm Pamela K.M. Chen to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Pamela Chen is a distinguished public servant and will be a strong addition to the federal bench. Judge Chen’s confirmation is also historic as she is now the first openly gay Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve on the federal judiciary. I commend President Obama for doubling the number of AAPI federal judges by nominating exceptionally well qualified and diverse candidates, and I thank Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for his leadership in recommending Judge Chen.”
Congressman Mike Honda (CA-17), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “I extend my sincerest congratulations to Pamela Chen on her historic confirmation to serve on the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York. As a distinguished public servant and trailblazer for civil and human rights, Ms. Chen has already broken countless barriers throughout her robust career in the legal field. Now, as the first open gay Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve on the federal bench, her confirmation marks a giant step towards a more equitable representation of AAPIs and LGBTs on the federal judiciary. As Chair Emeritus, I thank President Obama and Senator Schumer for their leadership on her nomination and Senator Reid for today’s confirmation. I also commend the President and his Administration for their steadfast commitment to a highly qualified bench and to diversity that truly reflects America.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06): “I am happy to congratulate Pamela Chen on her historic confirmation to the U.S. District Court. Pamela Chen has a distinguished record of serving New York and the nation by holding positions at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, New York State Division of Human Rights and the Department of Justice, and her confirmation illustrates her continued commitment to public service and the rule of law. I applaud Pamela Chen’s confirmation, and thank Senator Schumer for recommending her. I also hail President Obama for continuing his efforts to increase diversity on the federal bench.”
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.