November 15, 2022

ICYMI: Senator Warren Introduces Judge Myong Joun Before Senate Judiciary Committee

Video of Hearing Exchange (YouTube)

Washington, D.C. – At today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced Massachusetts Judge Myong Joun, nominee to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Senators Warren and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) recommended Judge Joun to President Biden for appointment to the federal bench. 

Transcript: Senate Judiciary Committee Nomination Hearings of Judge Myong Joun
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Senator Elizabeth Warren: Thank you, Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley. I apologize for my tardiness, I got held up over at the Banking Committee. I appreciate this opportunity to come before you to introduce Judge Myong Joun, a nominee to the District Court of Massachusetts. Senator Markey and I have a strong partnership on judicial nominations and we were proud to recommend Judge Joun to President Biden for his appointment to the federal bench.

Judge Joun comes before this Committee with 8 years of judicial experience, having served as an Associate Justice on the Boston Municipal Court since December of 2014. Prior to joining the bench he was a solo practitioner specializing in criminal defense work and in plaintiff’s civil rights litigation from 2007 to 2014. Before starting his own practice, almost all of Judge Joun’s work centered on civil rights litigation in the federal courts. Judge Joun also served as a member of the United States Army in the Massachusetts National Guard from 1990 to 1996. 

When he was first contacted by then-Governor Deval Patrick about an appointment to the bench, Judge Joun turned down the opportunity to be nominated to a higher court and instead expressed his desire to serve on a community court – a place where he could be in close, daily contact with those facing life’s most challenging circumstances. Judge Joun’s experience on the Boston Municipal Court and in practice as a criminal defense and civil right lawyer, has equipped him with an intimate understanding of the everyday problems faced by those who step foot through the courthouse doors.

Ahead of his hearing, the Committee received several letters of support from representatives across the Commonwealth attesting to Judge Joun’s work ethic, to his character, and to his qualifications to serve on the District Court in Massachusetts. Those who know him best describe him as a “person of deep integrity” who has the “intelligence, demeanor, experience, temperament and judgment to serve with excellence” on the federal bench. Two Assistant District Attorneys in Suffolk County highlighted how Judge Joun has taught them to “look beyond the charges in a case and to see the person(s) involved,” and to seek “the sense of balance that every prosecutor needs in their pursuit of justice.”

A native of South Korea, Judge Joun came to the United States, along with his mother and siblings, with less than 50 dollars in hand. Despite the many obstacles he faced, his hard work, dedication, and commitment to justice has now brought him to this moment. As the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts expressed in their letter of support for his nomination, Judge Joun’s “story reflects the aspiration of [all of] those who have immigrated to this country.”

Judge Joun has served his country in many ways for his entire life. I am confident that he will continue to faithfully serve the people of Massachusetts by demonstrating his steadfast commitment to the rule of law and to equal justice while on the federal bench. Once confirmed, Judge Joun will be the first Asian American man, as Senator Markey said, and first Korean American to serve on the District Court in Massachusetts. I am proud to support Judge Joun’s nomination and I’m glad he is joined today by friends, by colleagues, by his wife, Su. His two sons are also proudly watching this hearing from home. 

I want to congratulate Judge Joun on his accomplishments, and thank the committee again for the opportunity to introduce him this morning. Thank you.