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Biden pick Pan confirmed as first Asian American woman on D.C. federal court

(Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Florence Pan as the first Asian American woman to serve as a federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., filling a seat vacated by now-U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was promoted to the D.C. Circuit.

The 68-30 vote came shortly after the U.S. Senate Judiciary voted to advance five of President Joe Biden’s other judicial picks, including Toby Heytens, the Virginia state solicitor general nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pan, a former federal prosecutor who has served judge on the D.C. Superior Court since 2009, was first nominated to the federal court in 2016 by Democratic President Barack Obama.

But despite a favorable vote from the then-Republican controlled Judiciary Committee, she was never confirmed, and when Republican President Donald Trump took office, he nominated Dabney Freidrich to fill the seat she had been up for.

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