(CN) – The U.S. Senate voted 91-3 yesterday to confirm President Obama’s nomination of Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, a federal trial court judge, to serve on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Nguyen, 46, will fill a new judgeship and become the first Vietnamese American and first Asian-Pacific woman to serve on a federal appeals court.
She previously served as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, as appointed by Obama in 2009, and a federal prosecutor.
Nguyen began her legal career at Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP, and has been a member of numerous Asian-American bar groups, including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Orange County, the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, the Korean American Bar Association, and the Japanese American Bar Association. She was also a board member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.
Born in Dalat, Vietnam, Nguyen fled the country in 1975 and was placed in a refugee camp in Camp Pendleton, Calif. She and her family lived in a tent city for more than 1 month before settling in Los Angeles. Nguyen received her A.B. from Occidental College in 1987, and a J.D. from University of California at Los Angeles School of Law in 1991.
The Ninth Circuit, the nation’s largest federal appeals court, had 12,141 new case filings in 2011. The court is authorized 29 judgeships, three of which are currently vacant.
Nguyen is Obama’s third appointee to the court. She, like her peers, is slated to earn $174,000 annually.