Senate confirms first female Native American federal judge

SHARE Senate confirms first female Native American federal judge

A former U.S. Attorney from Arizona will be the first Native American woman to serve on the federal bench.

Diane Humetewa easily won confirmation Wednesday in the U.S. Senate in a 96-0 vote.

She will fill one of six vacancies in the federal District Court of Arizona.

Humetewa currently serves as special counsel at Arizona State University, where she is also a professor.

She served as U.S. Attorney for Arizona between 2007 and 2009.

She also was an appellate court judge for the Hopi Tribe.

The National Congress of American Indians praised the confirmation, saying Humetewa has dedicated her time to serving the interests of Native peoples.

The overburdened District Court of Arizona remains one of the busiest in the country, having declared a judicial emergency in 2011.

Whitney Cunningham, State Bar of Arizona president, says federal court judges in Arizona face a case load that is 20 percent higher than the national average.

Judicial emergency status allows a U.S. District Court to temporarily suspend the time limit imposed for bringing defendants to trial.

Case overload, lack of resources and the death of Judge John Roll led to the declaration.

Confirmation hearings were held Wednesday and will continue on Thursday.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Latest
Forty-eight states have oversight of car insurer’s rate hikes and prohibit that type of discrimination — but Illinois is not one of them. House Bill 2203 could change that.
The proposal would treat nonprofits that provide life-saving programs the same as multibillion-dollar, for-profit companies involved in gaming and cannabis sales.
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.
Peter Salvino, a 25-year-old doctoral candidate, died from drowning, with ethanol intoxication a contributing factor, an autopsy has found.
The late singer will be the first Afro Caribbean woman to appear on the U.S. quarter. The U.S. Mint is honoring Cruz through the American Women Quarters Program.