First openly gay Asian-American on US District Court bench

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Asian-American Judge Pamela Chen has become the first openly gay Asian-American to sit on a federal district court bench. Chen was appointed by President Barack Obama and approved by vote to take a spot on the Eastern District of New York’s US District Court.

The move has been received with much praise and the belief that LGBT judges are receiving a fair shake in the professional ranks.
 
“Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction,” President Obama said when announcing her nomination.

Chen was nominated in August last year after receiving the recommendation of Senate Democrate Chuck Schumer, also of New York. Then Obama was able to put her name forward for the position, which has been accepted.
 
“Ms. Chen’s wealth of experience and devotion to public service make it clear that she will be an excellent judge,” Schumer said in a statement Monday evening.

“Ms. Chen has proven time and again that she is a leader and a pioneer in the legal field. I have every confidence that she will serve her jurisdiction well.”
 
According to local New York reports on her ascension to the district court, Chen is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Georgetown Law School.

Her career began as an associate at Arnold & Porter and Asbill, Junkin, Myers & Buffone.

After that stunt, she served 8 years in the Department of Justice as a trial attorney, and a senior trial attorney for the Civil Rights division.

For the past 15 years, Chen had worked in the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where she had been serving as chief of the Civil Rights Section’s Criminal Division.

She will now be a top judge.
 
At her confirmation hearing, Chen said she would “remain fair” and politics should not play a role in the decision-making process of a judge.
 
“The assurances I can give you are based on my career as a public servant and working for the Department of Justice,” she was quoted as saying.

“No one accused me of ever making a decision based on any kind of political ideology, and I think my record speaks for itself over the last 20 years.”

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