LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles district judge was nominated today by President Barack Obama to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California.
Jacqueline H. Nguyen has served as a U.S. District Judge in the Central District of California since 2009, the first Vietnamese-American on the federal bench.
”Judge Nguyen has been a trailblazer, displaying an outstanding commitment to public service throughout her career,” Obama said. ”I am honored to nominate her today for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals and confident she will serve the American people with fairness and integrity.”
Nguyen was born in Dalat, Vietnam, in 1965, fleeing the country 10 years later along with her family in the latter stages of the Vietnam War.
Her family was placed at a refugee camp in Camp Pendleton, where they lived in a tent city for more than a month before settling in the Los Angeles area.
She attended Occidental College and UCLA School of Law before beginning her legal career at the law firm of Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP, where she was a litigation associate from 1991 to 1994.
In 1995, she joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District, serving as a prosecutor in the criminal division. There, she worked in both the General Crimes and Public Corruption and Government Fraud sections, and was a member of the office’s Organized Crime Strike Force from 1999 to 2000.
Nguyen was appointed to the state bench as a judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2002 and remained a judge there until she was appointed to the federal bench two years ago.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she was especially pleased at Nguyen’s nomination.
”In her application to my selection committee for her current District Court seat, Judge Nguyen described fleeing Vietnam as young girl after the fall of Saigon,” Feinstein said.
”Despite those difficult circumstances, she wrote, ‘I nevertheless feel incredibly fortunate because those early years gave me invaluable life lessons that have shaped who I am today,”’ the senator said. ”I have no doubt Judge Nguyen’s character and her judicial experience make her well-qualified to serve with distinction on the U.S. Court of Appeals. I look forward to a speedy confirmation by the Senate.”