U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today issued the following statement after the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Diane J. Humetewa to be United States District Judge for the District of Arizona.
Humetewa is the first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge, and the third Native American ever to do so.
“The confirmation of Ms. Humetewa to serve on the federal bench is historic,” said Heitkamp. “As the first Native American woman to serve as a federal judge, I have no doubt that she will hold the court to the highest standards, as she has done throughout her career. Her vast and diverse experience shows that she is more than qualified for this position – from her work as a prosecutor and appellate court judge to her tribe, the Hopi Nation in Arizona, to her advocacy for victims’ rights to her work in academia. She’s an inspiration to Native American families across North Dakota and the country, and I hope that other young Native Americans strive to give back to their communities and stand up for others in the way that Ms. Humetewa has. It’s long overdue that Native Americans are better represented on the federal bench, and today’s vote is an important step forward.”