WASHINGTON, DC (March 28, 2012) — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to confirm Miranda Mai Du to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
Du will be the first Asian Pacific American to serve as an Article III judge in Nevada and the sixteenth active Asian Pacific American Article III judge in the Federal Judiciary.
Du was born in Vietnam and left the country with her parents, two siblings and extended family by boat when she was eight years old. After spending a year in two refugee camps in Malaysia, she and her relatives were sponsored to come to the United States by a family in Winfield, Alabama.
Her father worked in a dairy farm until the family eventually moved to Oakland, California, where she attended junior high and high school. Du earned her Bachelor’s degree in history and economics at the University of California, Davis, and earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school, she moved to Nevada to join her firm, McDonald Carano Wilson LLP, where she became a partner and currently serves as the chairperson of her firm’s Employment & Labor Law Practice Group.
“We congratulate Judge Du on her confirmation, and thank Senator Reid for both suggesting her name to President Obama and scheduling her confirmation vote,” said Nimesh M. Patel, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “Judge Du is a nominee with a wealth of experiences and qualifications. She also has an inspiring life story, and will add much needed diversity of perspective on the federal court in Nevada.”
With Judge Du’s confirmation, the number of active Asian Pacific American Article III judges has doubled from 8 to 16 during the Obama Administration. More progress, however, remains to be made. If the number of Asian Pacific American judges reflected the general population, then there should be approximately 11-12 Asian Pacific American federal circuit court judges, and 40-41 Asian Pacific American federal district court judges.
“With her confirmation, Judge Du joins a growing number of Asian Pacific American judges on the federal courts,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center, member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “Although Asian Pacific Americans are still underrepresented in the federal judiciary, we applaud the forward movement and thank Senator Reid for recommending her for this vacancy.”
AAJC and NAPABA urge members of the Asian Pacific American community to continue pressing the Senate to schedule confirmation votes for pending Asian Pacific American judicial nominees, including Judge Jacqueline H. Nguyen, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and John Z. Lee, nominee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Following Du’s confirmation, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus, released statements praising the confirmation.
“I congratulate Miranda Du on her confirmation and becoming the first Asian Pacific American Article III judge to serve in the state of Nevada,” said Chu. “With this confirmation, President Obama has doubled the number of Asian Pacific Americans serving in the federal judiciary from 8 to 16 over the course of his first term. I thank Majority Leader Reid for his leadership in recommending Miranda for this vacancy and securing her confirmation, and I urge the Senate to move forward in confirming pending judicial nominees including Judge Jacqueline Nguyen and John Z. Lee. While Miranda’s confirmation is a victory for our community, there is still much work to be done. CAPAC looks forward to working with President Obama and the Senate to expand the number of diverse and highly qualified candidates serving on the federal bench.”
“Today’s historic confirmation of Miranda Du to the United States District Court for the District of Nevada is not only a true victory for the people of Nevada and the nation as a whole, but is also a giant step towards a more equitable representation of AAPIs on the federal bench,” said Honda. “Miranda brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from her robust career in the legal field, and I thank Senator Reid for his tremendous leadership with her confirmation as well as President Obama for now doubling the number of AAPI Article III judges active in the United States. As CAPAC Chair Emeritus, I was proud to push the Administration to nominate qualified candidates like Miranda to the federal bench, and I look forward to continue to ensure that we have greater AAPI representation in all branches of government.”