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NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555

April 7, 2011

AAJC Contact: Leonie Campbell-Williams (443) 803-1465

Professor Goodwin Liu Voted out of Committee,
Asian Pacific American Leaders Renew Call for Quick Confirmation Vote

WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee once again recommended Professor Goodwin Liu for a federal judgeship. Democrats voted in support of his nomination and all Republicans on the committee voted to oppose him on a 10-8 party line vote. Leaders of the Asian Pacific American community pressed for the full Senate to give Professor Liu a confirmation vote without further delay.

"We urge the Senate to move quickly to give Professor Liu the up-or-down vote that every nominee deserves," said Paul O. Hirose, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). "Professor Liu is eminently qualified to serve as a federal appellate judge, and he is long overdue for a confirmation vote."

Liu was first nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit more than a year ago, on February 24, 2010. The full Senate neglected to hold an up-or-down vote for Professor Liu before the conclusion of the 111th Congress in December 2010. As anticipated, in January 2011, President Obama renominated Liu and 41 other judicial nominees who also did not get confirmation votes last year. The seat to which he has been nominated is classified as a "judicial emergency." The American Bar Association has given Professor Liu a unanimous rating of "Well Qualified," the highest rating available.

"If the Senate is committed to ensuring a fair and effectively functioning federal court system, it needs to act on Professor Liu’s nomination without any additional delay," said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. "There is a tremendous lack of diversity on the federal appellate bench. Professor Liu not only has the right intellect and temperament to be an outstanding judge, he would also be only one of two active Asian Pacific American federal appellate judges in the entire country and the only one in the Ninth Circuit, which includes California, Hawaii, and most of the west coast."

Hirose and Narasaki thank President Obama for nominating Professor Liu, and applaud Senator Leahy for his stewardship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They also thank California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for their continued support of Professor Liu's nominations.


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 61 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.


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