President Obama has nominated out lesbian civil-rights prosecutor Pamela Ki Mai Chen for a judicial seat on the U.S, District Court of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. According to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who recommended Chen for the position, if approved she would the second Chinese-American woman to serve as a judge in U.S. history. Chen is currently chief of the criminal division in the civil rights section of the Eastern District. In a statement about the nomination, President Obama spoke highly of Chen, saying, “I am proud to nominate this outstanding candidate to serve on the United States District Court bench. Pamela Chen has a long and distinguished record of service, and I am confident she will serve on the federal bench with distinction.”
Including Chen, the Obama administration has appointed a total of five openly LGBT people to the federal bench. Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, commented on the matter, saying, “Obama has shattered all records in terms of diversity, both as to ethnic diversity and LGBT diversity." Chen’s nomination will need to be confirmed by the Senate before the end of the year in order for her to serve. GLAAD congratulates Pamela Chen on her historic nomination.