Some may like to quote Lizzo, the pop songstress who is known for her Grammy-nominated song, “About Damn Time.”
The first Asian American judge to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was confirmed by the Senate on Monday.
Judge Cindy K. Chung won confirmation with a 50-44 vote on the Senate floor with three Republicans joining Pennsylvania senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman on the majority side.
The 47-year-old Chung has served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania since 2021, after seven years as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the same district. Chung also served as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and as an Assistant District Attorney in New York.
She joins Arianna Freeman, who became the first woman of color to join the circuit last September, as President Joe Biden has prioritized diversifying the federal bench.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit serves all of Pennsylvania, as well as the areas of New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands.
“Cindy Chung has made history today, said Casey.” “Throughout her legal career she has demonstrated a deep understanding of the law, and during her nearly decade-long tenure in the Western District, she served the people of Western Pennsylvania with integrity and a commitment to fair and equal justice. She is a trailblazer in the legal community and I was proud to move her nomination forward and vote to confirm her.”
“It was an honor and a privilege to cast my vote this evening to confirm Judge Cindy Chung to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals,” said Fetterman. “Her nomination and confirmation as the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Third Circuit and only the seventh Asian Pacific American woman to serve on any federal circuit court is truly groundbreaking.
In addition to her groundbreaking status on the Third Circuit, Chung is also only the seventh Asian American woman to serve on any federal circuit court. Chung’s confirmation is also a milestone for Biden, who now has had 100 judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate.
Chung received her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2002 and her B.A. from Yale University in 1997.
Biden’s other picks for Pennsylvania’s federal courts, including Philadelphia’s former interim District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge, were confirmed by the Senate in December.