CAPAC Chair Judy Chu, CAPAC Members Congratulate Judge Chen on His Confirmation

May 10, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), today joined members of CAPAC in congratulating Judge Edward Chen on his confirmation, and commending the Senate for finally holding a vote to confirm Chen as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California. Chen was confirmed by a vote of 56-42.

“Judge Chen is an exceptionally well qualified nominee, and I congratulate him on his confirmation as U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California,” said Chu. “After waiting on a vote for more than 600 days, longer than any other judicial nominee, Ed Chen has finally been confirmed to fill a seat considered a judicial emergency. Given his outstanding legal credentials and judicial record, his final confirmation is welcome news.”

Judge Chen was first nominated on August 6, 2009. He has served as a federal magistrate judge for the past ten years, and has over 20 years of litigation experience prior to the bench. He graduated in the top ten percent of his undergraduate and law school classes at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been rated by the American Bar Association as unanimously well qualified, the highest rating given. Judge Chen is the first Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) Article III judge in San Francisco.

“Judge Chen’s confirmation helps address an appalling lack of diversity and community representation on the Federal bench,” said Chu. “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up over 30 percent of the population in San Francisco County, yet until today they have never had an AAPI judge in this role. I commend the Senate and thank Senator Feinstein and Senator Reid for their leadership throughout this process. CAPAC is fully committed to working with Senate leadership to promote the confirmation of qualified judicial nominees who reflect the diverse makeup of our society.”

CAPAC Member Statements:

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15): “As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we should note that that the longest waiting nominee for a U.S. District Court judgeship is Asian American. U.S. District Court nominee Edward M. Chen has waited over 600 days for his confirmation vote. Despite having a 10 year track record as a federal magistrate judge and being given the highest rating of “Well Qualified” by the American Bar Association, Judge Chen’s nomination has been held up. Today’s confirmation of Judge Chen by the Senate is a step towards fulfilling President Obama’s promise of a well qualified and diverse judiciary. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are vastly underrepresented in the courts. Out of the 875 active Article III judges, there are only 13 active AAPIs. On a personal note, Judge Chen was on the legal team that successfully represented Fred Korematsu in a case overturning his World War II conviction for failure to comply with the Japanese interment order. As a Japanese American who was interned, it heartens me to know that we will have an advocate for our community serving in my home state of California. I congratulate Judge Chen on his confirmation.”

Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-5): “I want to congratulate Edward Chen on his confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  Judge Chen has a 10-year track record as a federal magistrate judge, and broad bipartisan support from both law enforcement and the legal community.  I know that Judge Chen will serve the people of Northern California with the highest sense of justice, purpose, and fairness.”

Rep. David Wu (OR-1): “I applaud the Senate’s long overdue confirmation of Edward Chen to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Chen’s command of the law and dedication to civil rights make him an excellent choice to serve on the federal bench, and I am deeply disappointed that the Senate has stalled on his confirmation for nearly two years. I continue to support Asian Pacific American participation in all levels of public service, from city councils to the federal bench, in order to reflect the true diversity of America.”


The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.