U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
NominatedApril 29, 2021
ConfirmedOctober 21, 2021
Judge Tana Lin was confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on October 21st, 2021. Prior to becoming a judge, she was an attorney with over 30 years of litigation experience with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Chicago District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and at Keller Rohrback, where she practiced as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. She also served as President of the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Washington.
In a 1996 case against the Louisiana State Police while she was at the Chicago District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Lin represented women who had applied to become deputy sheriffs but were rejected for the roles. Lin identified a pattern of discrimination and successfully secured a settlement on her clients’ behalf.
In 2015, Lin was part of a team that helped secure a $90 million settlement for over 20,000 nurses in the Detroit area who accused eight hospitals in the region of conspiring to depress their wages.
In 2017, Lin was a pro bono cooperating attorney in Doe et al. v. Trump, where she sued the federal government over the Trump administration’s decision to bar family members in other countries from joining their relatives who had refugee status in the U.S. Lin won a nationwide injunction against the policy, which at the time was the latest iteration of President Trump’s Muslim ban.
Upon confirmation, Lin became the first ever Asian American judge and first ever former public defender to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. She is also the first ever AAPI woman with experience as a public defender to serve as a federal judge.