The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Staci Maiers, NEA Communications,

Working Families Need More Judges Like Jennifer Sung on Federal Bench

Sung's confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a step toward correcting ‘gross imbalance’ in courts where American workers find a 'judicial system rigged against them.'


The U.S. Senate today confirmed Jennifer Sung -- a union organizer and litigator specializing in labor, employment discrimination, consumer issues, disability rights, and health care law -- to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. As the first Asian American woman from Oregon to serve on the Ninth Circuit, the Yale Law School graduate's confirmation is historic. Currently serving on the Oregon Employment Relations Board, she has gained a reputation as a fair and impartial moderator. The National Education Association, the nation's largest and most powerful union representing more than 3 million members, has advocated for Member Sung's nomination and urged the Senate to confirm her swiftly.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:

"No matter where we live, what we look like, or where we're from, all Americans deserve equal protection under the law. But too many times, workers find themselves in courts presided by judges whose professional career before joining the bench was working for the very corporate interests they're up against. Labor and employment lawyers are grossly underrepresented among federal judges -- today, there is only one federal appellate judge with any experience representing unions -- and that lack of perspective often results in an unfair and unjust federal judiciary. Jennifer Sung's confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a step toward correcting that gross imbalance. Still, more must be done to ensure American workers don't continue to find the judicial system rigged against them.

"Ms. Sung is impeccably credentialed, has a reputation among her peers for collegiality and fairness, and brings experiences and perspectives desperately needed in the federal judiciary. As a lawyer, Ms. Sung represented working people -- from fast-food workers to university faculty, warehouse workers to healthcare workers -- and helped them recover stolen wages and obtain life-saving health care coverage. Ms. Sung embodies the American Dream: She is the daughter of immigrants who fled political persecution in China for a better life in the United States. Her brother is a proud Army veteran.

"On behalf of the 3 million members of the National Education Association, we applaud the long-overdue addition of a judge who has lived experiences that millions of Americans share, and we call for the Biden-Harris administration to add more judges like Ms. Sung to the federal bench."

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education--from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.

(202) 833-4000