Florence Y. Pan
Florence Y. Pan (Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AP/Shutterstock)

Florence Pan Becomes First-Ever Asian American Woman Confirmed to DC Federal Court

In a positive sign of increasing diversity and representation in America’s court system, Florence Pan has been confirmed as the first-ever Asian American woman to hold a seat in the D.C. federal court system.

Nate Raymond of Reuters reported that on Thursday, Sept. 23, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Pan’s appointment as a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., “filling a seat vacated by now-U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was promoted to the D.C. Circuit.”

According to Raymond, “the 68-30 vote came shortly after the U.S. Senate Judiciary voted to advance five of President Joe Biden’s other judicial picks, including Toby Heytens, the Virginia state solicitor general nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

A former federal prosecutor, Pan became a judge on the D.C. Superior Court back in 2009 and has served there since. Former President Barack Obama nominated Pan to a seat in the federal court in 2016. However, even though the then-Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee voted to advance her nomination, she was never confirmed by the full Senate. 

“When Republican President Donald Trump took office, he nominated Dabney Freidrich to fill the seat she had been up for,” Raymond reported.

Pan once again became a candidate for the Federal bench when Biden announced she was his pick to fill the court seat formerly held by Jackson. Her nomination was officially announced after Jackson was confirmed in June for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where she replaced Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“Jackson, who is Black, has been seen as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court should a vacancy emerge,” Raymond reported. “The nomination of Pan furthered Biden’s overall promise to bring greater diversity to the federal judiciary.”

Pan is the 14th of the 43 judicial nominees Biden has nominated so far in his presidency to receive Senate approval.

In a statement on the Senate floor ahead of Pan’s confirmation vote, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said, “the historic nature of Judge Pan’s nomination will help build a federal bench that reflects full diversity.”

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

Latest News

Validated Allies wallpaper

DiversityInc Announces 2022 Validated Allies

Allyship is a journey rather than a destination. The work of an ally never really ends and allies understand they are not necessarily always working toward a goal, but rather, serving a greater purpose. Each year, as part of our Women of Color and Their Allies event, DiversityInc recognizes a…

CDO Series: Sysco’s Adrienne Trimble

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the latest installment of a series of articles…

NOD Forum: Honoring the Disability Rights Movement

The road to disability rights has been a long one. One that started long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was passed. In celebration of 40 years of the National Organization on Disability, disability leaders, supporters and activists gathered in Washington, D.C last week to discuss the…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: September 29

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Research Outlines Lack…

Marriott International building

Marriott International Receives 12 Platinum Honors at the MUSE Creative Awards

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   Marriott International’s unmatched portfolio of luxury brands earned 12 Platinum Awards representing 5 dynamic brands, across 10 categories in the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards — an international competition for creative professionals. The industry leader within the luxury…

Marriott International Debuts Its New Global Headquarters Focused on Wellbeing

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   After six years of planning, design and construction, Marriott International has opened its global headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The 21-story, 785,000-square-foot, LEEDv4 Gold-certified building is the new workplace for corporate associates, supporting over 8,100 hotels in 139…