Published on: Thursday, September 23, 2021

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Florence Pan as the first Asian American woman to serve as a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., filling a seat vacated by now-U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was promoted to the D.C. Circuit (article available here).

Pan, a former federal prosecutor who has served judge on the D.C. Superior Court since 2009, was first nominated to the federal court in 2016 by Democratic President Barack Obama. But despite a favorable vote from the then-Republican controlled Judiciary Committee, she was never confirmed, and when Republican President Donald Trump took office, he nominated Dabney Freidrich to fill the seat she had been up for.

The nomination of Pan furthered Biden's overall promise to bring greater diversity to the federal judiciary.