AALDEF Press Release on SCOTUS Decision in Shelby

AALDEF Press Release on SCOTUS Decision in Shelby

From APIAVote: Census Analysis of Asian American Electorate

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June 7, 2013                                     

Asian American Voters Continue Decade-Long Trend,
Add 500,000 New Voters
 
WASHINGTON—Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and National Asian American Survey (NAAS) today issued the following statement on the release of census analysis on the voting participation rates in Election 2012:
 
The latest Census analysis confirms that the Asian American electorate is on the rise. In line with our estimates from the “Behind the Numbers” report released earlier this year, the Census Bureau shows that more than 3.9 million Asian Americans voted in the 2012 elections, accounting for nearly 3% of all voters. This was an increase of more than 500,000 voters from 2008.
 
Below, we highlight three important aspects about the Asian American electorate: continued rates of rapid growth at the national level; growing electoral relevance of the population in many states; and the ongoing need for survey data with Asian language support.
 
Key findings at the national level from the report and the associated data include:
 
  • The growth of the Asian American electorate was relatively steady between 2004-8 and 2008-12 (an increase of about 589,000 and 547,000 in each period). By contrast, the number of white voters rose by about 475,000 between 2004-8, and declined by about 2 million between 2008-12.
  • The biggest growth in the Asian American electorate was between 2000 and 2004, with 723,000 new voters. However, 2004 was also a year that saw an increase of 10 million white voters, thereby muting the electoral affect of Asian American’s growth.
  • The Asian American share of the voting population has been steadily increasing, from 1.8 percent of all voters in 2000 and 2.2 percent in 2004, to 2.6 percent in 2008, and 2.9 percent in 2012.
  • Voter registration remains a significant hurdle for Asian Americans, with only 56 percent of adult citizens registered to vote in 2012. This compares to registration rates of 72 percent and 73 percent among whites and blacks, respectively, and 59 percent among Latinos.
  • Once registered, however, Asian Americans turn out in rates comparable to other groups: 84 percent for Asian Americans, 82 percent for Latinos, 87 percent for whites, and 91 percent for blacks.
State data is in line with the national data, showing that the Asian American electorate is an increasingly important voting bloc.
 
Asian American voters in California and New York, states with the two largest Asian American communities, turned out at or above the national rate. 84% of registered Asian American voters in California and more than 86 percent in voters in New York voted in 2012 election.
 
In the 15 states that APIAVote, AAJC, and other partners supported organizations to increase civic participation, Asian American voters turned out at or above 84% in almost all 15 states. Asian Americans in Georgia and Washington turned out at about 95%, nearly 93% in Ohio, above 89% in Minnesota and Florida, and above 86% n Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia. Of the 15 states, Texas had the lowest turnout at 71.6% and Nevada at 81.7%, although these are all within the survey’s margin of error.
 
While we are pleased with the latest Census Bureau analysis, we remain concerned that it may not tell the full story of the Asian American electorate because its survey is conducted only in English and Spanish. For example, in “Behind the Numbers,” where more than 40% of the Asian American and Pacific Islander registered voters surveyed responded in an Asian language, we found turnout among those who had difficulty speaking English was 9% lower (75%) than those who did not (84%).
 
“Behind the Numbers” indicated that voter turnout varied significantly by ethnicity. For example turnout among Laotians and Cambodians was lowest in 2012 at 40% and 62% while turnout was highest among Hmong and Japanese at 89%. 
 
The steady increase in new voters and the high rates of turnout among growing Asian Americans communities across the country indicate that as more Asian Americans become naturalized citizens and as their U.S.-born children enter adulthood, Asian Americans will continue to grow as an important voting bloc for future elections.

For more information on this growing electorate, “Behind the Numbers” is available at: http://www.apiavote.org/sites/default/files/btn_final_singles_FINAL_0.pdf.  

Further details from the census report can be found at http://www.apiavote.org/sites/default/files/Census%202012%20Voting%20Rates.pdf

Press Release: NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD CONFIRMATION OF SRI SRINIVASAN

NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD CONFIRMATION OF SRI SRINIVASAN

Srinivasan Becomes First South Asian American
Federal Appellate Court Judge In Nation’s History

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate voted 97 to 0 to confirm Srikanth (“Sri”) Srinivasan as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Srinivasan is both the first South Asian American federal appellate court judge in the history of the United States and the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the D.C. Circuit.

“We are deeply gratified that the Senate has confirmed Mr. Srinivasan today,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Given that over 3.5 million South Asian Americans live in the United States, it is particularly noteworthy that Mr. Srinivasan has made history by becoming the first-ever South Asian American federal appellate court judge. Moreover, the D.C. Circuit long has been recognized as one of the most important courts in the country. The presence of an Asian Pacific American on that court gives testament to the strides made by the Asian Pacific American community in recent years. It is a fitting and momentous way to conclude and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.”

Mr. Srinivasan is an attorney of exceptional accomplishment and merit who has received highest praise from all segments of the legal community. Numerous federal judges (including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor), former government officials, and professors have lauded Mr. Srinivasan’s legal skills, intellect, and integrity. These individuals include officials and judges appointed by the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama Administrations. They invariably have described Srinivasan as “a tremendous lawyer,” “one of the very smartest, most talented,” and “especially gifted.” They all have concluded that Srinivasan will be an “excellent” or “tremendous” appellate court judge. Until his confirmation, he served as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States, where he regularly appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court. He previously served as a partner and Chair of the Supreme Court and appellate practice for the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

“Sri Srinivasan is an exceptional attorney with a long history of work in civil rights,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “In private practice he handled some of the most important Supreme Court cases pro bono for AAJC and for the greater civil rights community. We congratulate him on his historic confirmation and look forward to his tenure on the D.C. Circuit.”

Mr. Srinivasan is Indian by birth, Kansan at heart, and all American in story. He was born in Chandigarh, India, and immigrated to the United States as a child with his parents and two younger sisters. Mr. Srinivasan grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, where his father was a professor of mathematics at the University of Kansas, and his mother taught at the Kansas City Art Institute. Throughout his upbringing, Mr. Srinivasan attended public schools in Kansas. In high school, he was very active in sports and music, including playing on the high school varsity basketball team. He became, and to this day remains, a die-hard University of Kansas basketball fan.

With Mr. Srinivasan’s confirmation, three Asian Pacific Americans will sit as federal appellate court judges out of approximately 175 nationwide. All three have been nominated and confirmed in the last four years. One additional Asian Pacific American federal appellate court nominee remains pending before the U.S. Senate at this time – Raymond Chen, who has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

NAPABA and AAJC are proud to have supported Mr. Srinivasan. We thank President Obama for nominating Mr. Srinivasan, and commend the U.S. Senate for the noteworthy bipartisan support that he received during the confirmation process.

DERRICK KAHALA WATSON CONFIRMED TO HAWAII DISTRICT COURT

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
April 18, 2013

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

DERRICK KAHALA WATSON CONFIRMED TO HAWAII DISTRICT COURT 
Watson becomes only person of Native Hawaiian descent to serve on federal bench

WASHINGTON – Today, leaders of the Asian Pacific American community applaud the confirmation of Derrick Kahala Watson to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. With a Senate vote of 94-0, he becomes the only person of native Hawaiian descent to currently serve as an Article III judge, and only the fourth in American history.

“Derrick Kahala Watson’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii is an important step forward for our nation,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “With Judge Watson’s well-deserved confirmation, the federal bench will be further diversified. Of note, the District of Hawaii will become the first federal court in U.S. history with a majority of Asian Pacific Americans, as Judge Watson joins Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway and Judge Leslie Kobayashi on the bench.”

“Judge Watson’s confirmation brings with it much needed diversity to the federal bench,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “He brings with him not only a history of government service to the bench, but also a personal story that inspires all members of our community.”

Until his confirmation, Watson served as chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. He has deep roots in Hawaii, growing up in a multi-generational household on Oahu that included his mother, who worked at a local bank until her retirement several years ago, and his father, who retired from the Honolulu Police Department. Judge Watson attended the Kamehameha Schools, Harvard College and Harvard Law School, and is the first person in his family to attend college.

NAPABA and AAJC applaud President Obama for nominating Judge Watson to the bench and thank the late Senator Inouye, former Senator Akaka, and Senators Schatz and Hirono for their recommendation and support of Judge Watson’s nomination.

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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 include 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 the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice.org) works 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, and is comprised of the Asian American Justice Center (www.advancingequality.org), the Asian American Institute (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org).

NAPABA and AAJC Applaud Confirmation of Pamela K.M. Chen to the Eastern District of New York

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
March 4, 2013

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

NAPABA and AAJC Applaud Confirmation of 
Pamela K.M. Chen to the Eastern District of New York

WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate confirmed Pamela K.M. Chen by a voice vote to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She becomes the first openly gay Asian Pacific American to serve on the federal judiciary.

“NAPABA congratulates Pam Chen on her historic nomination and confirmation and is proud to have supported her in the nomination and confirmation process along with the LGBT community,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for their continued commitment to diversifying the federal judiciary.”

For almost 14 years, Judge Chen has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she has served as chief of the Civil Rights Section for more than eight years, and previously as a deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division. She also served as a deputy commissioner for enforcement at the New York State Division of Human Rights, as a trial attorney in the Justice Department in Washington D.C., and in private practice. Judge Chen has won numerous awards for her work, particularly in addressing human trafficking.

“Judge Chen’s confirmation is a step in the right direction,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “There are more than 40 federal District Court judges in New York City. Judge Chen will become the third Asian Pacific American, bringing APA representation on the bench more in line with our 14 percent share of the city’s population.”

Judge Chen’s confirmation increases the number of active Asian Pacific American Article III judges to 18 nationwide: two federal Appellate Court judges and 16 federal District Court judges. President Obama nominated a record 17 Asian Pacific American to the Article III courts. Three more Asian Pacific American Article III nominees are pending in the Senate: Sri Srinivasan, nominee for the U.S. Circuit Court for the D.C. Circuit; Raymond T. Chen, nominee for the U.S. Circuit Court for the Federal Circuit; and Derrick Kahala Watson, nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. NAPABA and AAJC urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm these individuals, who are highly qualified for the federal bench.

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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 62 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 the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (www.advancingjustice.org), works closely with the other Advancing Justice members – the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco (www.asianlawcaucus.org) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles (www.apalc.org) – 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.

NAPABA and AAJC Applaud Nomination of Raymond T. Chen

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 7, 2013

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD NOMINATION OF 
RAYMOND T. CHEN TO THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT

WASHINGTON – Today President Obama nominated Raymond T. Chen to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If confirmed, he will be the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Federal Circuit in over 25 years.

“Raymond Chen will be an excellent addition to the Federal Circuit and we are proud to support his nomination,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “His many years of experience at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office together with his temperament and intellect make him an exceptionally well-qualified nominee for this court, and we commend President Obama for nominating him.”

Chen has served as the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 2008. He first joined the office in 1998 as an Associate Solicitor and has received numerous awards for his service, including: the Gold Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2011); the Bronze Medal Award, U.S. Department of Commerce (2005); and Attorney of the Year, Office of the Solicitor. He previously worked as a technical assistant at the Federal Circuit from 1996 to 1998, as an associate at the law firm Knobbe, Martens, Olson & Bear from 1994 to 1996, and as a scientist at Hecker & Harriman (now Hecker Law Group) in Los Angeles. Chen is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and the University of California, Los Angeles.

“I have no doubt that Raymond Chen will make an outstanding judge. We applaud President Obama for nominating him,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “As an Asian American engineer, career civil servant, and top-notch lawyer, he will make a meaningful contribution to the diversity of the Federal Circuit.”

Asian Pacific Americans continue to be significantly underrepresented in the federal judiciary. Today only 2 out of over 180 federal appellate court judges in the entire nation are of Asian Pacific American heritage. NAPABA and AAJC thank President Obama for his continued commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse nominees to the federal judiciary. Chen is the fifth Asian Pacific American that President Obama has nominated to the appellate courts.

Press Release: NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2012

NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555
AAJC Contact: Kimberly Goulart (202) 499-7027

NAPABA AND AAJC APPLAUD LORNA SCHOFIELD’S CONFIRMATION TO THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

WASHINGTON – Today the United States Senate confirmed Lorna Schofield by a 91-0 vote to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She is the first person of Filipino descent to serve as an Article III judge in American history.

“NAPABA congratulates Lorna Schofield on her confirmation as a federal district judge on the Southern District of New York and is proud to have supported her nomination and confirmation,” said Wendy Shiba, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We applaud President Obama and Senator Schumer for nominating Judge Schofield to this critical court, and continuing their commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse candidates to the federal bench.”

Prior to joining the bench, Judge Schofield practiced law at the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton for over 20 years. In 1991, she became the firm’s first partner of color and for the past year has served as Of Counsel. Prior to joining Debevoise, she was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Criminal Division) for four years. Ms. Schofield was the first Asian Pacific American to chair the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and she previously served as a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. In 2008, the National Law Journal named Ms. Schofield one of the nation’s 50 most influential minority lawyers.

“We congratulate Lorna Schofield on her confirmation and commend President Obama and Senator Schumer for their commitment to diversifying the bench with exceptionally well-qualified judicial nominees,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. “The community is hopeful that our Senate leaders will work to confirm Pamela Chen, President Obama and Senator Schumer’s nominee to the Eastern District of New York this year. Ms. Chen’s confirmation on the heels of the Judge Schofield’s would be celebrated by all in New York City, as well as Asian Americans across the nation.”

With her confirmation today, Judge Schofield will join Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the Eastern District of New York as the only judges of Asian descent serving on the federal district courts of New York. While Asian Pacific Americans make up approximately 14 percent of New York City’s population, only two of the over 90 active and senior Article III judges currently serving the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are Asian Pacific Americans. The nomination of another well-qualified Asian Pacific American, Pamela Ki Mai Chen, awaits a vote on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Schumer recommended Ms. Chen for a seat on the Eastern District of New York, and President Obama nominated her in August 2012.

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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 64 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 people of color 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 affiliate 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.

Vincent Chin 30: Standing Up Then and Now

A nationwide Google Hangout with leading civil rights leaders from around the country featuring Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-32), CAIR-SF Executive Director Zahra Billoo, OCA Executive Director Tom Hayashi, Asian American Justice Center Executive Director Mee Moua, and more.

WHEN:
Saturday, June 23, 2012
1:30 ET/10:30 am PT – doors open
2 pm ET/11 am PT – program begins

In 1982, Vincent Chin was the victim of a hate crime murder in Detroit. Thirty years later, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders continue to face discrimination and bullying. In light of recent tragedies like the suicide of Pvt. Danny Chen and the continuing effects of 9/11, what can Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do to stand up against racism and discrimination?

Join for a one-hour panel discussion with leading voices from the nonprofit and legal communities as they address these timely issues. Viewing parties have been organized in more than 30 cities and individuals can tweet in questions at #VC30.

Albany • Atlanta • Austin • Boston • Charlotte • Chicago • Cleveland • Dallas • Denver • Detroit • Fremont, CA • Gainesville • Grand Rapids • Hartford • Houston • Irvine, CA • Ithaca, NY • Los Angeles • Lowell, MA • Minneapolis • Morgantown, WV • New York • Philadelphia • Raleigh • Sacramento • San Francisco • San Jose • Seattle • St. Louis • Washington • Wichita and more

Presented by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

National co-sponsors (in formation): Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP), National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC)

Media Sponsors: 8Asians.com, Angry Asian Man

For more info, go to: www.apaforprogress.org/VC30

NAPABA Press Release: Jacqueline Nguyen and John Lee Confirmed

NAPABA Press Release: Jacqueline Nguyen and John Lee Confirmed