A Vietnamese-American lawyer from Reno, former boat-people refugee, has been nominated by President Obama to be a federal judge for the District of Nevada, the White House announced Tuesday.
Miranda Du, a civil litigator, had been recommended by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. If confirmed, she would be the second Viet federal judge in the country after the Central District of California’s Jacqueline Nguyen. Du would also be the first Asian-Pacific American federal judge in Nevada.
Du’s father had served in the South Vietnamese army. In 1979, when Du was 9, her extended family including aunts, uncles, cousins, fled the country by boat – as she told superlawyers.com in 2009, here.
The boat got to Malaysia, but at first it was turned away. They then did what many other boat people also had to do: They sank the boat, and everybody had to swim ashore. ”If we swam to shore, we couldn’t be turned away,” Du recounted.
Du’s family spent a year in the refugee camp before coming to the United States. She graduated with a double major in economics and history from UC Davis and received her law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall in 1994. She then joined McDonald Carano in Reno where she has been ever since, making partner in 2002. The firm’s web site lists Du as head of its Employment/Labor Law Group.
In a statement announcing the nomination, Senator Reid said, “Miranda Du is an experienced practitioner with extensive litigation experience and a deep understanding of, and dedication to, the Nevada community.”
“From a young age,” Reid added, “Du has met every challenge she’s faced and exemplifies the immigrant success story. I’m confident she’ll make an outstanding federal judge, and I look forward to her swift confirmation.”
A federal district judge has lifetime tenure. Du’s nomination requires Senate approval, which is usually a two-step process: A referral from the Judiciary Committee, and a vote by the full Senate.