Meet The First Native American Woman Appointed As Federal Judge

By Duchess Magazine

Diane Humetewa whose appointment was confirmed as the first Native American woman as judge of a U.S. District Court has been a pace setter in the line of historic happenings.

Diane Humetewa, a Hopi, was one of a confirmation of six judges to the federal court bench in Arizona. Humetewa previously served as U.S. attorney between 2007 and 2009 and was an appellate court judge for the Hopi Tribe and a special counsel and professor at Arizona State University.

Receiving her law degree in 1933 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law from Arizona State University, Humetewa used to be a Tribal Liaison and Senior Litigation Counsel before she was nominated to become a US Attorney for the District of Arizona in 2007.

She resigned her position of US Attorney in August of 2009, when Dennis Burke was nominated as the next US Attorney for Arizona. But, in September of 2013 President Obama nominated Humetewa to serve as a US District Judge for the District of Arizona, a most historic achievement. In May of 2014, the Senate voted unanimously and Diane Humetewa was appointed, receiving her judicial commission on the 16th of May. With this amazing confirmation, Humetewa has set a precedent for taking steps to broadening the representation and makeup of federal court

Humetewa has been praised for her integrity, fair judgments, expanded the District office to include security challenged, and provided victim advocacy services to crime victims, as well as advancing collaboration with Arizona’s tribal nations, which was unprecedented at the time.

Her appointment is certainly historic.

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