Chen and Liu Voted out of Committee, NAPABA and AAJC
Urge Confirmation Before Senate Adjourns
WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Judge Edward M. Chen and Professor Goodwin H. Liu for federal judgeships today, prompting leaders from the Asian Pacific American community to call upon the full Senate to confirm them before breaking for the midterm elections.
"Today's vote brings Professor Liu and Judge Chen one step closer to being confirmed," said Joseph J. Centeno, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). "Unfortunately, they have been in this situation before and we need to make sure these two eminently qualified nominees are not delayed any longer."
Both have experienced needless delays in the confirmation process. Originally nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Aug. 6, 2009, Judge Chen has waited longer than any other judicial nominee for a confirmation vote. Professor Liu was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Feb. 24. The Senate returned Professor Liu and Judge Chen's nominations to President Obama in August, per Senate rules. President Obama then renominated both on Sept. 13.
"Now that Judge Chen and Professor Liu have been voted out of committee, the Senate needs to confirm them before it breaks for the midterm elections," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC)."It's unclear whether there will be an opportunity to do so afterward, therefore they need to be confirmed as soon as possible."
AAJC and NAPABA urge the Asian Pacific American community to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold votes on these nominees before the Senate adjourns Oct. 8. NAPABA and AAJC recently launched a successful public education initiative and Web site to engage and educate the Asian Pacific American community on diversity in the judicial system. Visit www.confirmnow.org to learn more and sign petitions supporting Judge Chen and Professor Liu.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.
The Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, works closely with its sister organizations – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles – to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.