October 22, 2016
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Asian Judge Takes Bench In Unanimous Vote

WASHINGTON - The Senate confirmed by a 98-0 vote Judge Denny Chin to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, making him the only active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge, out of approximately 175 such judges. Judge Chin is the first Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge to be nominated and confirmed outside of the Ninth Circuit, and only the fifth overall in U.S. history. It has been over five years since an Asian Pacific American has served anywhere in the country as an active federal appellate court judge. Judge Chin is the first Asian Pacific American to have been nominated to serve on a federal appellate court in 14 years.

"This is a landmark day for us because Judge Chin is a leader and role model for us in NAPABA," said Joseph J. Centeno, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. "He is an extraordinary judge and a true trailblazer in our community."

Judge Chin was nominated by President Obama on October 6, 2009, and he was unanimously voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 10, 2009. Judge Chin has been a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York since 1994, and was the longest serving Asian Pacific American federal district court judge to date. Judge Chin's nomination had strong bipartisan support, including from individuals such as former Mayor and U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Attorney General and Judge Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Comey, and former Judge and U.S. Attorney John S. Martin, Jr.

"Born to a working class Chinese American family, Judge Chin has lived the American dream and is a great example to all Americans," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center. "We are extraordinarily proud of his achievement of this important legal milestone."

Centeno and Narasaki thank President Obama for nominating Judge Chin and Sen. Schumer for recommending him.


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 63 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent 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 federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.

The Asian American Justice Center is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates - the Asian American Institute in Chicago, the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles - and nearly 100 community partners in 47 cities, 25 states and the District of Columbia.

NAPABA Contact: Tina Matsuoka (202) 775-9555

AAJC Contact: Nicole Duran (202) 296-2300, ext. 144

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