First Asian-American Lesbian Judge Appointed to Federal Bench

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Judge Pamela Chen

Judge Pamela Chen has become the first Asian-American lesbian to occupy a seat on the federal bench after being approved by a voice vote.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Chen on March 4 to preside on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, according to the Advocate.

The judge said during a confirmation hearing last September that she would remain fair and that politics “will play no role in my decision making were I fortunate enough to be confirmed.”

“The assurances I can give you are based on my career as a public servant and working for the Department of Justice,” she said, as quoted by the Washington Blade. “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.”

Chen has been working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York since 1998.

“Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction,” President Barack Obama said in a statement when he nominated her last August.