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Senate Approves Jacqueline H. Nguyen for 9th Circuit Court
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Jacqueline H. Nguyen, from Los Angeles, was confirmed by the Senate to the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this week. The confirmation makes Nguyen the first Asian American woman to be appointed to a federal appellate court. Nguyen was approved by a vote of 91-3 after the Senate began acting on nominees presented by President Barack Obama. Republicans in the Senate were causing delays in the choices of the president as a means of protest because of some of the appointments to the White House.

Kristine Gerhard Baker, from Arkansas, was approved by the Senate along with Illinois resident John Lee to federal district courts. Lee becomes the second Korean American to sit on a federal district court. Nguyen was described by Obama as a trailblazer when he announced her nomination in the fall. During the collapse of Saigon in 1975, Nguyen fled Vietnam with her family as a young girl. Prior to taking up residence in Los Angeles, Nguyen and her family lived in a tent city at Camp Pendleton. Nguyen’s family opened a doughnut store in North Hollywood. She studied while serving customers at the shop.


“That really grounded me in reality,” she said in an interview from 2002.

“I congratulate Judge Nguyen and her family on this important and historic day,” Senator Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, said.

Nguyen graduated from Occidental College in 1987, which is where Obama studied. She is also a graduate of UCLA School of Law.  Nguyen worked for the law firm of Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP between the years of 1991 to 1994. Following her stint at the firm she joined the Los Angeles United States Attorney’s Office. Nguyen was appointed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2002. Nguyen was selected as a federal judge for the Central District of California by Obama in 2009.

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