NCAI Press Release in Support of Diane Humetewa and John Tuchi Federal Judicial Nominations

NCAI Applauds President’s Nominations of Diane Humetewa and John Tuchi for Federal District Court Judge in Arizona; 
Confirmation will make Humetewa First American Indian Woman Federal Judge
 
Washington, DC – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has endorsed President Obama’s nomination of Diane J. Humetewa from the Hopi Tribe to serve as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Arizona. Senator John McCain of Arizona is credited with recommending the nomination. Upon confirmation, Humetewa will be the first American Indian woman in history to serve as a federal judge. Humetewa served as the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona from 2007 to 2009 under President George W. Bush.
 
NCAI also endorsed the President’s nomination of John Joseph Tuchi to serve as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Arizona. Tuchi’s service as Tribal Liaison from 2009-2012 demonstrated his knowledge of federal Indian law and his commitment to the critical role of tribes in the American family of governments. His nomination has the strong support of tribes in Arizona.
 
“These nominations are a significant step forward for Indian Country. Diane Humetewa is highly qualified and has been recognized and nominated for important federal positions by both Present Obama and President Bush. John Tuchi is highly qualified and has a strong record of upholding the trust responsibility to tribal nations. NCAI endorses the President’s nominations and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm them both,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel.
 
“This also represents a great step forward for the federal courts. For many years we have stressed the importance of including Native Americans in the federal judiciary. Senator McCain should be applauded for recommending the nomination of Ms. Humetewa,” added Keel. “We have also underscored the need for all federal judges to understand federal Indian law. Mr. Tuchi has a firsthand understanding of the importance of federal Indian law, an asset that is far too rare among federal judges.”
 
NCAI First Vice Present Juana Majel also praised the nomination of Humetewa. “In 2013 we have witnessed the passage of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization that included extraordinarily important protections for Native women. With the nomination of Diane Humetewa to be the first Native woman to be a federal judge, 2013 is truly a landmark year for Native women.”
 
Biographies provided by the White House:
Diane J. Humetewa: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
Diane J. Humetewa currently serves as Special Advisor to the President and Special Counsel in the Office of General Counsel at Arizona State University.  She is also a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  From 2009 to 2011, Humetewa was Of Counsel with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP.  She worked in the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona from 1996 to 2009, serving as Senior Litigation Counsel from 2001 to 2007 and as the United States Attorney from 2007 to 2009.  During her tenure in the United States Attorney’s Office, Humetewa also served as Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General from 1996 to 1998.  From 1993 to 1996, she was Deputy Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.  Humetewa received her J.D. in 1993 from Arizona State University College of Law and her B.S. in 1987 from Arizona State University.  She is a member of the Hopi Indian Tribe and, from 2002 to 2007, was an Appellate Court Judge for the Hopi Tribe Appellate Court. 
 
John Joseph Tuchi: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona
John Joseph Tuchi has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Arizona since 1998.  He currently serves as Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the office and has previously served as Interim United States Attorney in 2009, Senior Litigation Counsel and Tribal Liaison from 2009 to 2012, and as Chief of the Criminal Division from 2006 to 2009.  Tuchi also worked as an associate at the law firm of Brown & Bain, P.A. from 1995 to 1998.  He began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge William C. Canby of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Tuchi received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1994 from Arizona State University College of Law, his M.S. in 1989 from the University of Arizona, and his B.S. in 1987 from West Virginia University.
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