Diane Humetewa becomes first Native American woman federal judge

Diane Humetewa made history on Wednesday night when the Senate confirmed her as a new federal judge. She is the first Native American woman to hold the position.

Humetewa, 49, is a Hopi Indian from Arizona and has already made history before, notes Phoenix New Times. She also became the first Native American U.S. attorney in 2007.

Her approval was a rare move of bipartisanship in the Senate, as she was approved unanimously, 96-0, notes The Huffington Post. She will serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a close friend of Humetewa, was among the Senators who took to Twitter to congratulate her. “Congrats to #Arizona's Diane Humetewa - confirmed today as the first Native American woman to ever serve on the federal bench!” he wrote.

Humetewa has a long career in public service and was previously at Arizona State University as a Professor of Practice, teaching Indian law. She also worked with McCain as counsel for the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Subcommittee.

The National Congress of American Indians said in a statement that it “greatly appreciates the efforts of the President and Senate in achieving this historic confirmation.” The organization added, “There are many qualified, talented people like Diane Humetewa in Indian Country who are able and willing to serve. We eagerly anticipate many more nominations of Native people to the federal bench and other offices.”

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