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

Click here to download a PDF copy of the testimony.


NAPABA Contact: Tina Matsuoka (202) 775-9555

April 16, 2010

AAJC Contact: Jason Lagria (202) 296-2300, ext. 122

NAPABA and AAJC Provide Testimony for
Historic Confirmation Hearing of Professor Goodwin H. Liu

WASHINGTON - The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) provided testimony for the federal judicial confirmation hearing of Professor Goodwin H. Liu, who was nominated by President Obama to be a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Liu is only the second Asian Pacific American nominee for the federal appellate courts in the past fourteen years; both nominations were made by President Obama.

In their testimony, both organizations expressed their strongest support for Professor Liu. NAPABA and AAJC thanked the Judiciary Committee for promptly rescheduling Professor Liu's hearing. They also thanked President Obama for nominating Professor Liu and thanked California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for supporting his nomination.

NAPABA and AAJC stated that "[t]his nomination is especially important" to the Asian Pacific American community because "[o]ut of the approximately 175 active federal appellate court judges, there are currently none who are Asian Pacific American." The two organizations also stated that "it is especially notable that there are no active Asian Pacific American judges in the Ninth Circuit, given the especially high concentration of Asian Pacific Americans in the states encompassed by that jurisdiction."

The organizations testified that "Professor Liu is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of education and constitutional law who will bring outstanding intellect and integrity to the Ninth Circuit. He also has gained significant experience in private practice and with the government."

NAPABA and AAJC cited the remarks of many individuals who expressed support for Professor Liu. For example, they quoted a letter written to the Judiciary Committee from Kenneth W. Starr, Dean and Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, who stated: "[T]he traits that should weigh most heavily in the evaluation of an extraordinarily qualified nominee such as Goodwin are professional integrity and the ability to discharge faithfully an abiding duty to follow the law. Because Goodwin possesses those qualities to the highest degree, we are confident that he will serve on the court of appeals not only fairly and competently, but with great distinction."

They also noted that Clint Bolick, director of constitutional litigation at the Goldwater Institute, said, "I find Professor Liu to exhibit fresh, independent thinking and intellectual honesty. He clearly possesses the scholarly credentials and experience to serve with distinction on this important court." Conservative scholars were cited, including Indiana University Law Professor Gerard Magliocca, who stated, "[H]e is exceptionally smart, thoughtful, and fair-minded" and that "he would be a superb judge." Constitutional law professor Jonathan Adler also said, "Liu is qualified for the job and I would vote to confirm him."

NAPABA and AAJC concluded by stating, "Professor Goodwin Liu would make an immediate contribution as a federal circuit court judge. His qualifications, integrity, intellect, and commitment to the justice system are clear. He also brings a life story that is inspiring. Especially given the lack of any active Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judges nationwide, the confirmation of Professor Liu is important to NAPABA, AAJC, and the Asian Pacific American community."


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 63 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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