By GENE JOHNSON
SEATTLE (AP) — President Joe Biden on Sept. 30 announced the nominee for the extremely shorthanded federal bench in Seattle: Washington state Court of Appeals Judge John H. Chun.
Biden has stressed the importance of ethnic and professional diversity in his nominations. Chun, a son of Korean immigrants who has served on the appeals court since 2018, would be the first Asian American man to serve as a judge in the district.
“Judge Chun’s accomplished track record—both as a state and county judge, and in private practice—demonstrates he has the knowledge, experience, and perspective to serve on the federal bench in Washington state with distinction,” said Sen. Patty Murray, said in a written statement. “If confirmed, I know Judge Chun would bring crucial background and insight to the federal judiciary, and continue to be an asset to our community.”
Chun was a King County Superior Court judge for four years before joining the appeals court. He previously worked as a litigator focusing on commercial and employment litigation at Summit Law Group and Preston, Gates & Ellis—now known as K&L Gates.
Chun served as a law clerk for Judge Eugene A. Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1994 to 1995. He earned his law degree at Cornell Law School in 1994 and graduated from Columbia University in 1991.
Chun currently chairs the Washington State Center for Court Research Advisory Board and he’s on the board of the Asian Bar Association of Washington Student Scholarship Foundation.
Biden also nominated Dale Ho to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ho is the director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, and has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, including a successful challenge to the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. He was also recipient of the 2020 Asian Law Alliance Legal Impact Award and the 2019 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association President’s Award.
On Sept. 23, the Senate confirmed Florence Pan as a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C.—the first Asian American to hold a seat in that court system. She is a former federal prosecutor who has served as a judge on the D.C. Superior Court since 2009.