Monday, August 06, 2012

Obama Taps API Lesbian To Be Federal Judge

President Obama has nominated the fifth openly gay or lesbian person, Pamela Ki Mai Chen, to a position as a federal judge. If confirmed by the United States Senate, Chen would be only the second Chinese-American federal judge in history, and one of only a handful of openly LGBT members of the federal judiciary. Previously, three of Obama's openly LGBT nominees, J. Paul Oetken, Ali Nathan and Michael Fitzgerald have been confirmed, with Edmund Dumont withdrawing his nomination when the Senate Judiciary committee refused to schedule a hearing on his nomination for 18 months.

The Washington Blade reports:
In a statement, Obama said, “I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the United States District Court bench. Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”
According to biographical information, Chen has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York for 14 years — with the exception of a four-month period in 2008 when she served as New York State Division of Human Rights’s Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement.
As a U.S. attorney, Chen served has held different supervisory positions, including chief of the civil rights section and deputy chief of the public integrity section. She’s specialized in criminal civil rights matters, such as human trafficking, and has provided training to law enforcement on the issue.
Prior to being a U.S. attorney, Chen was a trial attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Justice Department. She began her legal career in D.C., at the criminal defense firm of Asbill, Junkin, Myers & Buffone and at the law firm of Arnold & Porter after receiving her law degree in 1986 from the Georgetown University.
A first-generation American, Chen’s parents came to the United States as immigrants from China and met in the United States at the University of Chicago during World War II.
Chen was recommended to the Eastern District of New York by that state's senior U.S. Senator, Chuck Schumer.

Congratulations to Ms. Chen. Here's hoping that her nomination can be confirmed before the end of this Congress.

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