02. Cathy Bissoon
Cathy Bissoon (born May 16, 1968) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Previously, she was a United States Magistrate Judge of the same court. She was appointed to her current position by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the United States Senate in October 2011.
In July 2008, Bissoon was selected to serve as a United States Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, replacing Judge Francis X. Caiazza. She joined the bench on August 1, 2008, and is the first woman of color to sit on the federal bench in Pittsburgh. Bissoon, who is Hispanic and Indian, is also the first woman of Indian descent to sit on a federal court in the United States. During the 111th Congress, Pennsylvania Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey recommended Bissoon for a seat on the Western District of Pennsylvania.
On November 17, 2010, President Barack Obama formally nominated Bissoon to be a United States district court judge, to replace Thomas Hardiman, who was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in March 2007. On October 17, 2011, the Senate voted 82–3 to confirm Bissoon. She received her commission on October 19, 2011. With her appointment, Judge Bissoon became the first Hispanic female Article III judge in Pennsylvania and the first Asian American Article III judge in Pennsylvania.