NEW YORK – March 5, 2013 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) welcomes and applauds the confirmation of Pamela K. Chen to serve as a federal district court judge in the Eastern District of New York.  On March 4, 2013, the United States Senate confirmed Pamela Chen by a voice vote to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  “AABANY is delighted to learn that Pamela Chen has been confirmed to serve on the Eastern District of New York bench,” said Mike Huang, President of AABANY.  “Ms. Chen is the first Chinese-American female Article III judge outside of California and the second-ever Chinese-American female federal judge in U.S. history, continuing to add to the rich legacy of the Second Circuit and New York State.  AABANY applauds President Obama and Senator Schumer for their continued commitment to diversifying the Federal Judiciary.”

Asian Pacific Americans (“APA”) are significantly under-represented in the Federal Judiciary, including in New York State.  In fact, according to the 2010 Census, approximately 8.3% of the population of New York State and 14.0% of the population of New York City consists of Asian Americans, and the APA percentage continues to grow at a rate that outpaces all other ethnic groups in the State.  In the Eastern District of New York, Ms. Chen joins Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto as the two Article III judges of APA descent in a district that serves the growing APA communities of Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

“With her confirmation, Ms. Chen joins the growing number of Asian Americans who have been recognized for distinguished service on the federal courts,” said Theodore K. Cheng, Co-chair of AABANY’s Judiciary Committee.  “Although Asian Americans remain under-represented at all levels in the Federal Judiciary, President Obama and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand ought to be commended for their tireless dedication to increasing diversity on the federal bench.”

After spending the first five years of her career in the private sector, Ms. Chen began a dedicated and much longer career in public service, with a distinct focus on civil rights work.  Ms. Chen served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  She then moved to New York City in 1998 and became an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (“USAO EDNY”).  There, she was promoted to Chief of Civil Rights Litigation, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Section, and then finally to Chief of the Civil Rights Section.  Ms. Chen held that last position since July 2006 except for a brief period of time in 2008 when she accepted an opportunity to serve as the Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement in the New York State Division of Human Rights.  She soon returned to the USAO EDNY and has remained there ever since.

AABANY thanks President Obama for nominating Ms. Chen and Senator Charles E. Schumer for recommending her to the President.

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

The Asian American Bar Association of New York was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian-American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, paralegals and law students.  The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian-Americans in the legal profession.

© 2013 Asian American Bar Association of New York.  All rights reserved.  Logo is a registered trademark of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org

Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/aabany

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aabany