Support the Confirmation of Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Courts Resources 07.13.21

View a PDF of this letter here.

July 13, 2021


Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 220 national organizations committed to promoting and protecting the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write to express our strong support for the confirmation of Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Ms. Lin’s exceptional career and demonstrated commitment to upholding civil and human rights make her well qualified to serve as a federal judge. For more than 15 years, she has practiced law at Keller Rohrback L.L.P. in Seattle, helping to advance the rights and protections of consumers and employees through class action litigation. Previously, Ms. Lin served as litigation coordinator for the Michigan Poverty Law Program, where she partnered with legal services groups, advocates, and prosecutors to develop systemic answers to problems caused by poverty. At the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Ms. Lin litigated claims under landmark civil rights laws including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She has also served as a trial attorney with the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, helping to ensure that the constitutional rights of people accused of crimes are protected. Ms. Lin’s significant community involvement includes serving as board president for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, board member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, chair of the Washington State Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee, and member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Ms. Lin’s significant experience will make her an asset to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Ms. Lin’s background as a civil rights attorney and former public defender demonstrates her commitment to pursuing equal justice. She has fought for the rights of thousands of working people in class actions, from Washington farmworkers facing wage theft[1] to Detroit nurses experiencing wage suppression.[2] She won a rare settlement for an employee who faced retaliation for reporting age discrimination,[3] fought for the rights of refugees and their families,[4] and challenged New York City hiring practices that discriminated against African Americans, Latinos and Latinas, Asian Americans, and women.[5] The judiciary needs to reflect the diversity of the legal profession, including more judges experienced in ensuring that the civil rights of all people are protected and defended. Ms. Lin would bring this diversity and meaningful experience to the federal judiciary.

In addition to her impressive qualifications, Ms. Lin’s lived experience would also bring important perspectives to the judiciary. Ms. Lin and her family emigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was three years old. If confirmed, she would be the first Asian American judge on this court.[6] Washington is home to more than 1.1 million immigrants[7] and nearly 1 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.[8] It is vital that judges share characteristics and experiences with the people their decisions impact. Judges with diverse experiences help increase public confidence in the judiciary and result in better jurisprudence that is more reflective of the experiences of all people.[9] By diversifying the judiciary, judicial decision-making is improved.[10] It is imperative that judges who sit on our federal courts for a lifetime reflect all parts of the communities they serve.

Throughout her career, Ms. Lin has demonstrated her commitment to safeguarding civil rights. Her experience working towards equal justice for all people makes her highly qualified to serve in this role. We urge the Senate to confirm Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter further, please contact Lena Zwarensteyn, Senior Director of the Fair Courts Campaign, at (202) 466-3311. Thank you for your consideration.


Wade Henderson
Interim President & CEO

Jesselyn McCurdy
Interim Executive Vice President of Government Affairs


[1] Renteria v. Stemilt AG Services, LLC, Case No. 18-2-00471-8 (Super. Ct. of Wash. Chelan County), Case No. 2:20-cv-00392-SMJ (E.D. Wash.).

[2] Cason-Merenda v. Detroit Med. Ctr., 862 F. Supp. 2d 603 (E.D. Mich. 2012).

[3] EEOC v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. 1 :99-cv-07261 (N.D. Ill.).

[4] Doe v. Trump, 288 F. Supp. 3d 1045 (W.D. Wash. 2017).

[5] United States v. New York City Bd. of Educ., 85 F. Supp. 2d 130 (E.D.N.Y. 2000).

[6]Biographical Directory of Article III Federal Judges, 1789-present.” Federal Judicial Center. Accessed June 2021. Search includes all Western District of Washington judges whose race or ethnicity includes Asian American.

[7]2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.United States Census Bureau. Accessed June 2021. Search includes foreign-born population of Washington.

[8] Id. Search includes those in Washington whose race or ethnicity includes Asian or Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander.

[9] Berry, Kate. “Building a Diverse Bench: Selecting Federal Magistrate and Bankruptcy Judges.Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and American Bar Association Judicial Division. 2017.

[10] Sen, Maya. “Diversity, Qualifications, and Ideology: How Female and Minority Judges Have Changed, or Not Changed, Over Time.” 2017 Wis. L. Rev. 367 (2017).