President Barack Obama nominated two more attorneys for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, one from the Department of Justice and one from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the White House announced today.
If confirmed, Raymond Chen would be the first Asian American to serve on the Federal Circuit in more than 25 years, and Todd Hughes would be the first openly gay appeals court judge in the United States, advocacy groups said.
Chen has been the deputy general counsel for intellectual property law and solicitor for the PTO since 2008. He has been at the agency since 2000, and has represented the agency in numerous appeals and personally argued more than 20 cases before the Federal Circuit, according to a White House press release.
At the PTO, Chen also issued guidance to patent examiners, and advised the agency on legal and policy issues and regulations. He also has co-chaired the Patent and Trademark Office Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association and is a member of the Advisory Council for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the White House stated.
If confirmed, Chen would become the first Asian American to serve on the Federal Circuit in more than a quarter-century, according to Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
"With a stellar background in the sciences, law, public service and community engagement, Raymond exemplifies the knowledge and talent that the Asian American and Pacific Islander community can bring to our nation's courts," Chu said in a written statement.
Hughes has been the DOJ's deputy director of the commercial litigation branch of the civil division since 2007. He also has served as an adjunct lecturer in law with the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the White House stated.
Hughes' career at the DOJ has focused on federal personnel law, veterans' benefits, international trade, government contracts, and jurisdictional issues regarding the United States Court of Federal Claims. He has extensive experience before the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of International Trade, and the United States Court of Federal Claims, the White House stated.
If confirmed, Hughes would become the first openly gay federal appeals court judge in U.S. history, said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.
"His nomination is a testament to the expanding opportunities for openly LGBT Americans who want to serve their country, and to the president's respect for the depth of talent and experience within the LGBT community," Wolfe said.