National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
1612 K Street N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aleli Samson
June 23, 2009
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Endorses
Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court Vacancy
Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, endorses Second Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s pick to succeed retiring Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court. If confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would become the first Latina ever and the third female judge to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings have been scheduled to start on July 13.
“We applaud President Obama for nominating Judge Sotomayor, who possesses the intellect, judicial experience, and commitment to upholding the rule of law necessary to serve on this nation’s highest court,” said NAPABA President Andrew T. Hahn, Sr. “Judge Sotomayor will make a distinct contribution to the Supreme Court and NAPABA is pleased to be among the many pushing for her speedy confirmation.”
“NAPABA promotes diversity in the legal profession, and diversity in the judiciary is extremely important to us,” said Tina R. Matsuoka, Executive Director of NAPABA. “Given the woeful state of Asian Pacific American diversity in the federal judiciary, this issue is of particular importance to our members.”
The numbers speak for themselves. Of approximately 850 federal judges nationwide, less than 1% are Asian Pacific American. There are currently no active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges and there has never been an Asian Pacific American United States Supreme Court justice.
“Confirming Judge Sotomayor would be a step in the right direction for both diversifying the Supreme Court bench and adding a justice who is qualified for so many reasons,” added President Hahn.
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 58 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.