Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The First Vietnamese American Federal Judge Jacqueline Nguyen confirmed by the Senate on Dec 1, 2009

December 1, 2009 by senatus

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Judge Nguyen unanimously confirmed to federal bench
December 1st, 2009

The U.S. Senate by a vote of 97-0 today unanimously confirmed Judge Jacqueline Nguyen to the U.S. District Court, making her the first Vietnamese-American federal judge.

Judge Nguyen’s confirmation vote came up shortly after noon today, here.

She previously received also unanimous approval by the Judiciary Committee, see here.

On the floor, Senator Diane Feinstein made the following statement:

“Judge Nguyen is a tested judge with a track record of success as both a judge and a federal prosecutor.

“Judge Nguyen was born in South Vietnam. She came to this country at the age of 10 during the final days of the Vietnam War. The Nguyens spent several months living at a refugee camp in Camp Pendleton, San Diego before moving to the La Crescenta neighborhood of Los Angeles.

“She was naturalized in 1984.

“Judge Nguyen’s parents worked two and three jobs at a time in Los Angeles, and Judge Nguyen and her siblings worked side-by-side with them — cleaning a dental office, peeling and cutting apples for a pie company, and finally managing the donut shop that their parents bought and owned. ”

A native of Dalat, Vietnam and a daughter of a South Vietnamese colonel, Judge Nguyen came to the U.S. in 1975 when communist forces overran the country. She was graduated from Occidental College in L.A. - the same school where the President spent his freshman year before transferring to Columbia. (Young Obama had left just when young Nguyen arrived.) After Oxy, Jacqueline Nguyen went to UCLA Law.

She joined Musick, Peeler & Garrett, one of L.A.’s top firms. After four years in private practice, Judge Nguyen moved to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California, where she eventually became a deputy chief of the General Crimes Section.

Originally named by former Governor Gray Davis, Judge Nguyen is presently sitting on the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Judge Nguyen now fills the seat made vacant when U.S. District Judge Nora Manella left to join the California Court of Appeals. Coincidentally, Judge Manella was the U.S. Attorney for the Central District when the young litigator Jacqueline Nguyen joined the office.

Judge Nguyen would be the first Vietnamese-American federal judge. There have been Vietnamese-Americans working as judges in the federal system. They are, however, not “federal judges” the way the term is commonly understood - i.e. they are not judges covered by Article III of the U.S. Constitution.



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