FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 6, 2005
CONTACT: Les Jin, (202) 775-9555
NAPABA EXTENDS CONDOLENCES TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST; URGES THOROUGH CONSIDERATION OF JOHN ROBERTS
Washington, DC – The nation suffered another loss this past week with the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on Saturday evening. Chief Justice Rehnquist’s 33 years on the nation’s highest court mark one of the longest tenures of a Supreme Court Justice. During his 18 years as Chief Justice, he presided over a gradual yet dramatic change in the legal landscape of the United States.
On Monday, President Bush named Judge John G. Roberts to be Chief Justice Rehnquist’s successor. This change leaves the vacancy created by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s pending retirement open for a new nomination.
“As the nation copes with the recent and ongoing devastation in the Gulf Coast region, and as we are saddened with the death of our nation’s Chief Justice, we recognize the monumental challenge at hand for the President in filling two Supreme Court vacancies at this time. We urge the President to again work with the Senate in naming a nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and further reach out to communities of color during his decision-making process,” remarked NAPABA President Michael P. Chu.
John C. Yang, NAPABA Judiciary Committee Chair, stated, “NAPABA continues to urge the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm an individual who is committed to protecting civil rights and advancing opportunities for communities of color.”
“As the Senate prepares to begin confirmation hearings for Judge Roberts next Monday, we urge Senators to consider his record on the bench and as a government attorney carefully and thoroughly,” commented NAPABA Executive Director Les Jin. “As representatives of the national Asian Pacific American legal community, we encourage members of the Senate Judiciary committee to ask the tough questions necessary in the confirmation process of one nominated to lead the nation’s highest court. As voting rights, language access, and diversity continue to be of the utmost importance within our communities, it is essential that Judge Roberts’ record on these issues be fully examined and explained.”
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 over 40,000 attorneys and 47 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 APA 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.