WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted 97-0 on Aug. 1 to confirm Raymond Chen to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

Sen. Mazie Hirono (right) with Raymond Chen and his family.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), CAPAC chair: “He is the first Asian American to serve on the court in over 25 years, and brings a wealth of experience from his distinguished legal career. I thank President Obama for nominating Ray and applaud Senate Majority Leader (Harry) Reid and my Senate colleagues for his swift confirmation. CAPAC has been proud to support Ray throughout his confirmation process, and we wish him our best in his new role.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “It was a privilege to interact with Mr. Chen during the confirmation process and learn more about his story. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Mr. Chen was trained as an engineer before embarking on a distinguished legal career. Mr. Chen will make history as the first Taiwanese American to serve on a federal appellate court, and I am confident he will serve honorably.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose): “Ray is a highly qualified lawyer, an exemplary public servant, and a shining figure within the Asian American and Pacific Islander legal community. His ascension to this post increases the diversity so essential to the promise of the American spirit, and as chair emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I am proud to see him approved by the Senate.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.): “His swift confirmation speaks to the honorable and successful contributions he has made to the fields of science and the law and to his commitment to public service. Mr. Chen is a living example of the rich talent that exists among the members of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community. I am proud to count him among my constituents and congratulate him on his great success.”

Chen currently serves as the deputy general counsel for intellectual property law and solicitor at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He began his career at the USPTO as an associate solicitor in 1998 and has received numerous awards for his service, including the Gold Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2011); Bronze Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2005); and Attorney of the Year, Office of the Solicitor (2002).

He previously worked as a technical assistant at the Federal Circuit from 1996 to 1998, and as a scientist at Hecker & Harriman in Los Angeles. Chen is a graduate of New York University School of Law and UCLA.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary. If the number of AAPI judges reflected the general population, there would be a dozen AAPI federal appellate court judges out of the over 180 that are active. Only four current federal appellate court judges identify as AAPI.

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