Nine More Judges Confirmed, US Courts Gain Even More Diversity

In judicial news that should get more coverage than it does, Justice Yu’s appointment to the State Supreme Court may have broken all sorts of ground, but it didn’t give the judicial branch an excuse to rest on its laurels. Far from it. In the past week, the Senate has confirmed nine more judges, a feat in itself for this current Congress, even without taking the increase in judicial diversity into consideration.

Who’s been confirmed? Here are two of the judges whose appointments brought a welcome new first in their respective areas.

Manish Shah’s confirmation on May 2 gave him the honor of becoming the first South Asian Article III judge in Illinois and the Seventh Circuit. While Theodore Chuang’s confirmation came with its own problems—namely the accusations of his part in the progress of the Benghazi investigation—a 53-42 vote got him the position in the end. He goes on to move on from his position as deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security to the first Asian Pacific American in Maryland’s federal judiciary.

Speaking of judicial confirmations, Mary Yu’s appointment seems to be received well, with The Olympian praising her in their editorial, placing her confirmation down as a “yay”. Says the editorial:

Inslee did not pander to those who promote the east versus west divide, but chose a 14-year Superior Court judge who brings a unique perspective to the court, as well as her skills and expertise.

What does Justice Yu herself have to say about her confirmation? Mostly that she couldn’t have dreamed of making history in this way.

Frankly, growing up as a kid in the inner-city of Chicago … I really thought my dream would be just to have a job perhaps being a secretary or even a clerk in a store. 

Here’s hoping that the increase in diversity helps kids dream a little bigger in future.


As an aside, thanks to this blog post, I found out about a website about law as it applies to teens, but they’re laws that even adults should probably know about. The legality of sexting, anyone? How about the laws of cell phone search and seizure?


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