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Senator Murray has worked closely with the Biden administration to make record progress in filling Washington state’s vacancies on the federal bench as quickly as possible to ensure the federal judicial system is working for all Washington state families

Senator Murray: “Judge Chun’s qualifications are superb, his temperament and record of service demonstrate a real commitment to fairness and impartiality, and his service as a judge would surely help rebuild faith in our judicial system.”  

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S REMARKS HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke in strong support of Judge John Chun’s nomination to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for the Western District of Washington. Senator Murray recommended Judge Chun to the Biden-Harris administration in early 2021 after his name was submitted to the Senator for consideration by Murray’s judicial merit selection committee. Senator Murray has pushed highly qualified candidates with an emphasis on demographic and professional diversity to help create a more fair and representative federal bench.

Judge Chun is the fifth nominee for a district court vacancy from Washington state to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Since the start of this Congress, Senator Murray has secured the confirmation of three nominees: Judge David Estudillo, Lauren King, and Tana Lin, filling three of six vacancies that existed in Washington state. Judge Chun as well as Judge Kit Dimke are both awaiting a vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee before advancing to a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.

“Judge Chun is thoughtful, patient, and embodies vital qualities to being a good jurist. His commitment to serving as a district court judge reflects a responsibility to preserving our democracy through faithfully upholding the rule of law, and treating litigants and parties before him with grace and respect, said Senator Murray. “Judge Chun’s qualifications are superb, his temperament and record of service demonstrate a real commitment to fairness and impartiality, and his service as a judge would surely help rebuild faith in our judicial system.”

John Chun has served as a judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals since 2018, and previously served as a judge on the King County Superior Court, where he presided as a trial judge in civil, criminal, and family law cases. Prior to his judgeships, Judge Chun was a member of the Summit Law Group in Seattle from 2006-2013, and a partner at K&L Gates and Mundt MacGregor before that.

A Pacific Northwest native and the son of South Korean immigrants, Judge Chun graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor's degree in English. He then graduated from Cornell Law School, becoming the first in his family to earn a law degree. Judge Chun chairs the Washington State Center for Court Research Advisory Board. He serves on the Court of Appeals Rules Committee, the advisory board of the Judicial Institute, and the board of the Asian Bar Association of Washington Student Scholarship Foundation. He has also contributed as a board member of the King County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington. In 2007 he received the Community Leadership Award from the Korean American Bar Association of Washington. From 2004 to 2014, he served as a member of the American Arbitration Association's Commercial and Employment panels. He presents regularly on a wide range of legal topics at continuing legal education seminars, bar events, and law schools.

Read more about Judge Chun’s nomination HERE.

Senator Murray’s full remarks as prepared for today’s committee hearing are below:

“Chair Hirono and Ranking Member Grassley, it’s my honor today to introduce Judge John Chun for a district court vacancy in the Western District of Washington.

“As this Committee knows, Washington state had six vacancies open for a number of years, so I must begin by thanking the President Biden and the Judiciary Committee for working so quickly to provide some long-awaited reinforcements to our bench in Seattle and Tacoma.

“In addition, I want to especially thank my nonpartisan judicial merit selection committee, comprised of 10 Washington state lawyers who so ably guided us in selecting the highly qualified nominees that have appeared before you this year, including Judge Chun.

“Let me share a little bit more about Judge Chun—he has served for 7 years as a state court judge, both in his current role as a judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals, and on the King County Superior Court before that.

“As we work to fill out many vacancies in the Western District, Judge Chun’s experience as a state court judge will add important experiential background to the federal bench.

“He will also bring experience as an attorney in private practice, where he focused on complex commercial and employment litigation, to his role on the bench.

“Judge Chun is a Pacific Northwest native, a father, and the son of South Korean immigrants.

“He would be the first Asian American man to serve on Washington state’s federal bench.

“He embodies a deep commitment to ensuring underserved communities have access to justice—having served as a Board Member for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, an Executive Board Member for the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation, and having taken on other pro bono commitments throughout his many years as an attorney and judge.

“Judge Chun is thoughtful, patient, and embodies vital qualities to being a good jurist.

“His commitment to serving as a district court judge reflects a responsibility to preserving our democracy through faithfully upholding the rule of law, and treating litigants and parties before him with grace and respect.

“Judge Chun’s qualifications are superb, his temperament and record of service demonstrate a real commitment to fairness and impartiality, and his service as a judge would surely help rebuild faith in our judicial system.

“I respectfully urge my colleagues to support Judge Chun’s nomination.

“Thank you Chair Hirono and Ranking Member Grassley.”

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