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Click here to download a PDF copy of the press release.


NAPABA Contact: Tina Matsuoka (202) 775-9555

November 18, 2009

AAJC Contact: Nicole Duran (202) 296-2300, ext. 144


Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) provided testimony today at the federal judicial confirmation hearing of The Honorable Denny Chin, who has been nominated to be a Circuit Court Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. If confirmed, Judge Chin would be the first active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge since Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the Ninth Circuit took senior status over five years ago. Moreover, it is has been almost fourteen years since an Asian Pacific American has been nominated to the federal appellate court. In their testimony, both organizations gave their strongest support for Judge Chin. NAPABA and AAJC applauded Senator Leahy and the Judiciary Committee for scheduling the hearing promptly. The organizations also thanked Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their support of Judge Chin. The organizations particularly were appreciative that Senator Schumer would preside over Judge Chin’s confirmation hearing and for publicly recommending Judge Chin to the White House. NAPABA and AAJC also expressed their appreciation to President Obama for nominating Judge Chin.

In their testimony, NAPABA and AAJC stated that the nomination is “especially important” to the Asian Pacific American community, given that “[o]ut of the approximately 175 active federal appellate court judges, there are currently none who are Asian Pacific American.” The organizations stated that: “A judiciary that more closely resembles the American citizenry is more likely to engender confidence by that citizenry in the justness of the results reached. A judiciary that has diverse perspectives is more likely to ensure that cases are decided fairly, evenly, without predisposition, and with an open mind.”

NAPABA and AAJC testified that Judge Chin “is extremely well-regarded by all segments of the legal community.” The testimony noted that practitioners have consistently described Judge Chin as “an excellent judge,” “extremely hard-working,” “very bright,” “unflappable,” “very diligent,” and someone with a “peerless reputation.” Even an attorney who Judge Chin ruled against stated that “I can’t think of anyone in that courthouse who is more fundamentally fair than Denny Chin.” Judge Chin also has received praise from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani Randy Mastro, and current City Corporation Counsel (appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg) Michael Cardozo. NAPABA and AAJC also applauded Judge Chin’s work “as a role model for countless individuals, . . . including several of the most recently confirmed Asian Pacific American judges, both at the federal and state level.” NAPABA and AAJC summed up Judge Chin’s credentials, background, and community activism by stating that: “Quite simply, he has been a tremendous asset and can serve America even better as a Second Circuit judge.”

The testimony also noted that “Judge Chin’s life story is uniquely American.” Recounting his childhood growing up in Hell’s Kitchen in New York, the testimony described the hard work and sacrifices of his family. His father worked as a cook in Chinese restaurants while his mother was a seamstress in the garment industry. The testimony also describes one of Judge Chin’s favorite “duties” as a judge: swearing in new citizens, during which he proudly shows a picture of his grandfather and his grandfather’s naturalization certificate, and tells them how his family came to the United States. “His upbringing epitomizes the all-American story of families seeking to create a better life in the United States.”

NAPABA and AAJC concluded by stating that “[t]he elevation of Judge Chin is an important step to ensuring that all levels of the federal judiciary reflect the different communities that make up the fabric of the United States.”


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 60 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 is a national organization dedicated to defending and advancing the civil and human rights of Asian Americans. It works closely with three affiliates – the Asian American Institute in Chicago the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles – and nearly 100 community partners in 47 cities, 25 states and the District of Columbia.


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