Published on December 15, 2013 by Amy
Diane J. Humetewa (pronounced hoo-MEE-tee-wah) was the United States Attorney for the District of Arizona, serving in that position from December 2007 to August 2009 and currently has been nominated to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
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Humetewa received her law degree in 1993 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. A member of the Hopi tribe, Humetewa is the first Native American woman to serve as a U.S. Attorney.
Previously the Tribal Liaison and Senior Litigation Counsel in the office she later headed, Humetewa was recommended in January 2007 by both of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, nominated by President George W. Bush in November and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona on December 17, 2007. The Investiture for Humetewa was held on February 6, 2008 at the Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse in Phoenix.
Humetewa was the permanent successor of Paul K. Charlton, whose dismissal on December 7, 2006 was a prominent aspect of the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy in early 2007. Daniel G. Knauss had served as interim U.S. Attorney for one year. Knauss and Humetewa continued to pursue the criminal investigation of Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ), begun by Charlton in September 2006. Renzi was indicted on February 22, 2008.
Humetewa is considered a national expert on Native American legal issues and has instructed law enforcement and prosecutors. She has served since 2002 as a judge pro tem on the Hopi Tribal Appellate Court, and as an ad hoc member of the Native American Subcommittee of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Humetewa resigned effective August 2, 2009 when President Barack Obama nominated Dennis K. Burke as the next United States Attorney for the District of Arizona.
On September 19, 2013, President Obama nominated Humetewa to serve as a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, to the seat vacated by Judge Mary H. Murguia, who was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on January 4, 2011. Her nomination currently is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.