Today, almost 5 months after the Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move his nomination to the full Senate, Judge Denny Chin was confirmed by a 98-0 vote for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (a position left vacant by Justice Sonia Sotomayor). Originally nominated by Obama, Chin has been backed by some high-profile supporters, including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Asian American Justice Center ED Karen Narasaki, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (boo).
Born in Kowloon and raised in New York, Chin’s best hits include presiding over the US vs. Madoff case, revoking Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff’s $10 mil bail and ordering him to report immediately to federal jail, as well sentencing Madoff to the maximum 150 years, calling his crimes “extraordinarily evil”.
So what does this mean? It means Denny Chin is the only active Asian American federal Appellate Court judge (out of about 175), the FIRST! APA Apellate Court judge confirmed outside of the Ninth Circuit, and the FIRST! active Asian American judge on the Courts of Appeal in over five years.
I’ll admit I almost failed high school US government & civics, so I’ll need to consult my trusty research partner wiki to decipher the legal system described above, but I don’t need to do that to know this is a major step forward for APA representation, and definitely worthy of a hearty: FIRST! Onward!