PRESS RELEASE: NAPABA Celebrates Historic Milestone with Chuang Confirmation to the Federal District Court for Maryland

May 1, 2014

Contact: Emily Chatterjee
(202) 775-9555


WASHINGTON — Today, with the confirmation of Theodore Chuang to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the Obama Administration has tripled the number of Asian Pacific American judges on the federal bench, going from 8 judges to 24 active Article III APA judges since 2008. Judge Chuang is the first Asian Pacific American judge to serve on the federal judiciary in Maryland or in any of the states in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

“Theodore Chuang’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland is a historic occasion on many fronts,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Judge Chuang has a long history of public service and will be the first Asian Pacific American federal judge to ever sit on the bench in Maryland, breaking yet another barrier in the legal profession. He has long been an active member of NAPABA and the Asian Pacific American community, and we are proud to have supported his nomination. We applaud Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin of Maryland for putting Judge Chuang’s name forward.”

“Judge Chuang’s confirmation today also sets a new high for the number of Asian Pacific Americans to serve on the federal bench, and is a fantastic way to begin Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” added Simonitsch. “President Obama and his administration have demonstrated unwavering support and dedication to the appointment of well-qualified, diverse nominees to the bench, making genuine progress in building a judiciary that looks like our great nation. We also thank all of the U.S. Senators who have supported diverse candidates like Judge Chuang to the bench, and look forward to working with the Senate to do even better in years to come.”

Before his service on the bench, Judge Chuang served as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he worked since 2009. He was previously the Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce in 2009 and Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that, Chuang served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Massachusetts and as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Chuang has held leadership positions with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington D.C. Area.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

Congratulations to Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, a member of AABANY’s first Board elected in 1991, has been appointed to the Appellate Term of the First Department. This court hears appeals from New York’s Civil and Criminal Courts.

Justice Ling-Cohan is the first APA woman to serve on an appellate panel in New York state. In 2002, she became the first APA woman elected to New York State Supreme Court. In 2005, she authored the groundbreaking decision in Hernandez v Robles, becoming the first New York state trial judge to rule in favor of same sex marriage.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Justice Doris Ling-Cohan on this major milestone in her judicial career.