Nominations for U.S. District Court Judges include two ASU alumni and current Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law professor Diane Humetewa.
Humetewa is a member of the Hopi Indian Tribe and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. She is a special adviser to ASU President Michael Crow and serves on ASU’s special counsel and general counsel’s office. Humetewa also graduated from ASU and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Doug Sylvester, law school dean, said he is ecstatic about the nomination and that he thinks it shows the quality of faculty the University has on staff.
“We are extremely proud of all three of our graduates nominated,” he said. “In our 25th year to have one of our graduates nominated is incredibly pleasing.”
The nomination shows the quality of professors ASU seeks to hire and teach its students, Sylvester said.
Associate Dean and law professor Judy Stinson echoed Sylvester’s sentiment.
“It’s good recognition of the strength of our faculty at Sandra Day O’Connor and the University as a whole,” she said. “That’s the kind of faculty we have here.”
As a member of the Hopi Indian Tribe, Humetewa has close ties to the Native American community.
The Hopi Tribal Council is pleased with the nomination by the White House and with the expanding roles of Native-Americans in the government, said Navajo Nation spokesman Ernie Zah.
“We hope that her personal experience will lend her ears to native issues that may go unheard should she be confirmed,” he said.
If confirmed as U.S. District Court Judge, Humetewa’s role at the law school may be diminished as she will have a full slate with the government position.
“It’s our hope even with her busy schedule on the bench she will continue to teach,” Stinson said.
Humetewa’s career in the legal system has come full circle and now she is beginning the next step in her lucrative career.
“She was part of the Indian legal program here as a student and now she teaches in that program,” Stinson said.
Sylvester said he hopes Humetewa will continue in her role as professor in any capacity.
“I hope she’ll be in Arizona, and we’ll do everything we can to keep her here while serving,” he said.
The people nominated for the U.S. District Courts have had distinguished careers, and it is an honor to have them continue their work as judges on the federal bench, President Barack Obama said in a speech on Sept. 19.
“They will serve the American people with integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice,” he said.
Humetewa was unavailable for comment because of the ongoing nomination process.
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