Press Release: Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan

September 2, 2016

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(212) 332-2478

Asian American Bar Association of New York Urges Judicial Screening Panel to Reconsider Decision on Hon. Doris Ling-Cohan 

NEW YORK – September 2, 2016 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is disappointed by the New York County Democratic Committee Independent Judicial Screening Panel’s determination that Justice Doris Ling-Cohan does not merit continuation in office as a New York State Supreme Court Justice.  The panel’s decision to reject the candidacy of an incumbent judge in New York County is unprecedented and is particularly unexpected, given Justice Ling-Cohan’s record as a jurist and her stature as a trailblazer in the legal community. Justice Ling-Cohan—a founding Board Member of AABANY—was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the New York State Supreme Court and appointed to its Appellate Term.  She has contributed tirelessly to the bench and bar, championing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession through her leadership and example.  In a bold step that garnered national attention, Justice Ling-Cohan authored the trial-level opinion in Hernandez v. Robles—a prescient ruling holding New York State’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional more than six years before the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act.   

“We are surprised by this development,” said AABANY President Susan Shin.  “Justice Ling-Cohan is a pillar in our community and a role model to generations of young lawyers.  While we respect the Manhattan Democratic Party’s panel process, we urge the party’s Judiciary Committee to adopt a procedure to afford Justice Ling-Cohan the opportunity to seek reconsideration of this most unusual outcome.”

If left undisturbed, the panel’s decision will deprive the Asian American community and New Yorkers of a diverse, courageous and influential voice on the Court. AABANY affirms its longstanding support for Justice Ling-Cohan and celebrates her many accomplishments in her distinguished career.  

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

Additional information about AABANY is available at

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