JUDICIAL FIRSTS. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), right, poses with
Tana Lin, left, in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 2021. The U.S. Senate
has confirmed civil rights attorney Tana Lin as a federal judge in
Seattle. Lin, the president of the board of the American Civil Liberties
Union of Washington, will be the first former public defender and the
first Asian American to serve as a federal judge in Washington state,
according to Murray. (John Shinkle/U.S. Senate Photographic Studio via
From The Asian Reporter, V31, #11 (November 1, 2021), page
Senate confirms Tana Lin as U.S. judge in Seattle
By Gene Johnson
The Associated Press
SEATTLE ó The U.S. Senate last month confirmed civil rights attorney
Tana Lin as a federal judge in Seattle.
Lin, the president of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union
of Washington, will be the first former public defender and the first
Asian American to serve as a federal judge in Washington state, said
Democratic senator Patty Murray.
"Americans deserve a justice system that will uphold the rights of
everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected," Murray said.
"Building a more fair and just court system starts by appointing more
public defenders and more civil rights lawyers ó like Ms. Lin ó as
The 55-year-old Lin helped challenge former President Donald Trumpís
travel ban and has represented workers in employment discrimination
cases, including immigrant farmworkers in Washington state who were
cheated out of wages.
President Joe Biden has said he wants his nominees to bring more
professional and demographic diversity to the federal courts. Murray and
senator Maria Cantwell recommended Linís appointment after Lin was
chosen by a judicial merit selection panel.
Civil rights groups cheered her confirmation, which came on a 52-45
"Tana Lin is a trailblazing lawyer and exactly what we need to ensure
that our federal courts benefit from a diversity of perspectives," said
Christopher Kang, chief counsel of the progressive legal reform group
The senate has also recently confirmed Lauren King, a tribal law
expert who is serving as Washington stateís first Native American
federal Judge, and David Estudillo, a former immigration attorney and
Grant County Superior Court judge, for the federal bench in the Western
District of Washington.
Before the confirmations, five of the seven active judge positions in
the Seattle and Tacoma courthouses were vacant ó the highest ratio in
Lin began her career as a public defender in Washington, D.C., before
becoming a trial attorney in the employment litigation section of the
Justice Departmentís Civil Rights Division.
She immigrated from Taiwan at age three and spoke only Mandarin at
home before being enrolled in school.
She attended Cornell University and New York University School
Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in
Just visit <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!