Thomas Tang

Last updated
Thomas Tang
Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
October 12, 1993 July 18, 1995
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
In office
October 12, 1977 October 12, 1993
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Richard Harvey Chambers
Succeeded by Michael Daly Hawkins
Personal details
Born(1922-01-11)January 11, 1922
Phoenix, Arizona
DiedJuly 18, 1995(1995-07-18) (aged 73)
Phoenix, Arizona
Education Santa Clara University (BS)
James E. Rogers College of Law (LLB)

Thomas Tang (鄧心平, January 11, 1922 – July 18, 1995) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the first American of Chinese descent appointed to the federal judiciary.

Contents

Education and career

The son of a grocery owner, Tang was born and spent his early years in Phoenix, Arizona, where he attended public schools. He joined the military through ROTC in 1942 and became a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. After graduation from the Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science degree and the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Laws, he was again commissioned to the Army and served on the Korean peninsula during the Korean War. In 1952, Tang resigned from the Army and after a brief stint of private practice, served as Deputy County Attorney of Maricopa County, Arizona from 1952 to 1957 and Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1957 to 1959. He was then elected to the Phoenix City Council in 1960, and a Judge of the Superior Court of Arizona in 1963. [1] During his tenure as Superior Court Judge, numerous lawyers who later rose to great eminence appeared before him, former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor being one of them. After losing his judicial re-election in 1970, due to a highly publicized juvenile murder trial in which he was accused for being too lenient, Tang returned to private practice.[ citation needed ]

Federal judicial service

Tang was nominated by President Jimmy Carter on August 29, 1977, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated by Judge Richard Harvey Chambers. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 7, 1977, and received his commission on October 12, 1977. He assumed senior status on October 12, 1993. His service was terminated on July 18, 1995, due to his death of cancer at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. [1] [2]

Competition in his honor

In 1993, the APA Law Student Association of the South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas named a national moot court competition in Tang's honor. The Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition is now administered by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Law Foundation and the NAPABA Judicial Council. The Competition continues to honor the late Judge Tang, a champion of individual rights, an advocate for the advancement of minority attorneys, an ardent supporter of NAPABA and the moot court competition. Judge Tang’s wife, Dr. Pearl Tang, continues the legacy and participates every year. The competition is open to all students but is especially designed to reach out to APA law students and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their writing and oral skills and compete for scholarships. [3]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Thomas Tang at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges , a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center .
  2. Saxon, Wolfgang. "Thomas Tang, 73, Senior Judge For a Federal Court of Appeals".
  3. "Thomas Tang Moot Court". napabalawfoundation.org. Retrieved February 7, 2019.

Additional sources

Legal offices
Preceded by
Richard Harvey Chambers
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
1977–1993
Succeeded by
Michael Daly Hawkins