Judge Jacqueline Nguyen was confirmed Monday by the full Senate to the Ninth Circuit, becoming the first female Asian judge on the federal appellate bench.
The vote to confirm Nguyen, 46, was 91 for and 3 against, The Hill reports. Judge Nguyen is a former federal prosecutor who served as California Superior Court judge and is currently U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California.
Just before the vote on Nguyen, Sen. Dianne Feinsteinurged her colleagues to approve the nomination.
“If she is confirmed today she will be the first Asian female federal court judge,” Feinstein said. “And I am proud to express my very strong support for her nomination.” Feinstein was the Senator who recommended Nguyen for the district court position.
In nominating Judge Nguyen in September, President Barack Obama praised Judge Nguyen as “a trailblazer, displaying an outstanding commitment to public service throughout her career.”
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 Harvard. (Young Obama had left just when young Nguyen arrived.) After Oxy, Jacqueline Nguyen went to UCLA Law.
She joined Musick Peeler & 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.
She was named to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Governor Gray Davis. When she was confirmed by the Senate 97-0 to the U.S. District Court in October 2009, Judge Nguyen became the first Vietnamese-American federal judge.
The Ninth Circuit is the federal appellate court, one level below the U.S. Supreme Court. Its territory covers the entire Western United States and consists of the states of: California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.