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ASU professor would be first Native American woman to serve as federal judge

Modified: Friday, Sep 20th, 2013

Diane J. Humetewa

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly applauded President Obama on his selection of Diane Humetewa to be the next federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Arizona. If confirmed by the Senate, Humetewa would be the first Native American woman to serve on the federal bench, according to an email from the Navajo Nation Washington office.

“Diane is a smart choice for this important U.S. District Court," Shelly said in the statement sent Sept. 20. "She brings a balanced view of jurisprudence issues affecting Arizona and the country. She has dedicated her life to serving the public good."

Humetewa is a citizen of the Hopi Tribe and, from 2002 to 2007, was an appellate judge for the Hopi Tribe Appellate Court.

“We are proud of Hopi tribal member Diane Humetewa, on her nomination by President Barack Obama for U.S. District Court Judge,” Hopi Chairman LeRoy N. Shingoitewa said in a email.

“We are also pleased that Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Arizona, John Joseph Tuchi has also been nominated," Shingoitewa said. "As Tribal Liaison to Tribes in the State of Arizona, Mr. Tuchi has always advocated for justice on tribal lands and has worked closely with the Hopi Tribe in the development and implementation of the Hopi Law and Order Code. We look for a favorable approval by the U.S Senate.”

Humetewa currently serves as special adviser to the president and special counsel in the Office 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. Humetewa 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Humetewa received her juris doctor in 1993 from Arizona State University College of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree in 1987 from Arizona State University.

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