WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2012) —President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Pamela Chen to serve on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
If confirmed, Ms. Chen would become the second Chinese American woman and the fifth openly gay nominee to serve in the federal judiciary.
“I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”
U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, applauded the President’s decision.
“I am thrilled to see President Obama continue to break historic barriers with his judicial nominations,” Chu said. “He has already doubled the number of Asian Pacific American federal judges from 8 to 17, including elevating the only two APA judges currently serving at the appellate court level.
“Now he has nominated Pamela Chen – a true trailblazer and distinguished public servant with the legal experience and intellectual temperament to be a strong addition to the federal bench,” Chu added. “I commend New York Senator Chuck Schumer for recommending Ms. Chen and urge my Senate colleagues to move forward with her confirmation.”
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.
She began her legal career in Washington, D.C., at the criminal defense firm of Asbill, Junkin, Myers & Buffone from 1989 to 1991, and at the law firm of Arnold & Porter from 1986 to 1989.