HRC Blog

Obama Nominates Openly Gay Judge to District Court

Today, upon recommendation by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), President Obama nominated Pamela Chen to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  If confirmed, Ms. Chen would become the second female Chinese-American and the fifth openly-gay individual to receive a lifetime judicial appointment in the U.S.  There are nearly 900 lifetime federal judgeships.

“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.”

Senator Schumer work to ensure that the federal bench contains diversity is notable.  He has recommended two of the three openly-gay federal judges currently serving.

“Pamela Chen will be an excellent federal judge. She is an experienced attorney with a long record of public service who possesses the legal excellence, intellect and temperament to be a first-rate judge,” Schumer said. “Ms. Chen is a trailblazer in every sense of the word. Her leadership skills, her commitment to justice, and her extensive experience make her an fantastic choice for a position on the Eastern District Court.”

Ms. Chen currently heads the Civil Rights Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York. She supervises the investigation and prosecution of criminal civil rights matters, including hate crimes, color-of-law offenses and human trafficking. Ms. Chen’s parents were immigrants from China. Her father was born near Shanghai and grew up there, and her mother was born in Changsha, the capital of Sichuan Province.  They met in the U.S. at the University of Chicago during WWII.

HRC has actively supported and advocated on the behalf of Ms. Chen.  We congratulate her on a much deserved achievement.

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