Press Release: NAPABA Disappointed in Outcome of Immigration Case Heard by the U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is disappointed by the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court’s split decision announced today in United States v. Texas. The court did not reach a decision in a challenge to the President’s executive action on immigration, including the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The split outcome leaves in place the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision to block implementation of the programs.

“We are disappointed in the decision of the Supreme Court to not make a clear statement on the Fifth Circuit’s decision to enjoin the implementation of these important immigration policies. The outcome leaves over four million undocumented immigrants living in the shadow of deportation,” said NAPABA President Jin Y. Hwang. “Today’s result underscores the importance of Congress taking swift action to pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

The lower court in this case temporarily blocked the implementation of the expanded DACA and DAPA programs, which affected an estimated 4.9 million undocumented and vulnerable immigrants, including approximately 1.3 million Asian Pacific Americans. Under these programs, eligible applicants would not be a priority for deportation and could apply for a temporary work authorization. The original DACA program remains unaffected and more than 100,000 Asian Pacific Americans remain eligible for that program.

NAPABA, along with a diverse coalition of 325 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups, including the National Immigration Law Center, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in this case to urge the Court to lift the injunction that has blocked the President’s executive action on immigration from moving forward. View the brief here.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

OPINION: Missed Opportunity In Supreme Court Nomination – Law360

OPINION: Missed Opportunity In Supreme Court Nomination – Law360

White House Reaches Out to Asian-American Leaders About Supreme Court Seat

White House Reaches Out to Asian-American Leaders About Supreme Court Seat

Press Release: NAPABA Extends Condolences on the Passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia

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For Immediate Release
Feb. 14, 2016

For More Information, Contact​​:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
202-775-9555; bschuster@napaba.org

NAPABA Extends Condolences on the Passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) extends its sincere condolences to the family of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who unexpectedly passed away Saturday morning in Texas. Justice Scalia, who served on the Supreme Court for 30 years, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

“Justice Scalia’s contribution to the United States and legal jurisprudence was immense,” said NAPABA President Jin Y. Hwang. “I had the opportunity to observe Supreme Court oral arguments as a law student and meet with Justice Scalia afterwards, and his intelligence, marked wit, and strong devotion to originalism left an indelible impression on me.  He freely spoke his mind on the bench, and he will be remembered for his nearly 30 years of dedicated public service on the Supreme Court.”

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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 nearly 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association Expresses Disappointment with the Supreme Court’s Voting Rights Act Opinion

(NEW YORK, June 28, 2013)  This week the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, rendered its opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. __ (Jun. 25, 2013)The Shelby decision involved Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.*  Section 4 of the Act established a “coverage formula” to determine which states and local governments properly fall under Section 5 of the Act, and thus were required to get approval before changing their voting laws.  The justices ruled that Section 4 of the Act is unconstitutional, and that the formula, which has been used for decades, can no longer be used to establish preclearance requirements.  Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who delivered the Court’s opinion stated: “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”  In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated “the Court today terminates the remedy that proved to be best suited to block that discrimination.” Justice Ginsburg’s dissent articulates the continued need for Section 5 preclearance for those states with poor voting rights records, and noted that in July 2006, the House and Senate passed the reauthorization of preclearance by overwhelming margins (House 390 to 33; Senate 98 to 0).

The ruling has already had potentially adverse consequences.  Shortly after the decision, Texas announced that a voter identification law that had previously been blocked is now free to take effect immediately.  Also, redistricting maps will no longer need federal approval, and “changes in voting procedures in places that had been covered by the law, including those concerning restrictions on early voting, will now be subject only to ‘after-the-fact’ litigation.” See “Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act,” New York Times, June 25, 2013.

Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his disappointment in the decision and stated: “Let me be very clear: we will not hesitate to take swift enforcement action – using every legal tool that remains available to us – against any jurisdiction that seeks to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s ruling by hindering eligible citizens’ full and free exercise of the [voting] franchise." 

Amistad echoes the disappointment of the nation’s leaders with the Supreme Court’s decision. 

Considering that Long Island is the home of the seminal voting rights decision Goosby v. Town of Hempstead, the organization would be remiss if we did not declare our opposition to rulings that potentially marginalize voters of color.  In Goosby, a federal judge ordered the Town of Hempstead to replace its at-large voting system with six geographic districts, stating that the system then in place “invidiously excludes Blacks from effective participation in political life.” The Goosby Second Circuit decision is available at this link: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-2nd-circuit/1437220.html.

Amistad, an affiliate of the National Bar Association (the “NBA”) fully intends to stand alongside the NBA in its efforts to bear pressure on policy makers and on Congress to enact a viable Section 5 coverage mechanism that deals with continuing impediments to the fundamental right to vote. We stand in solidarity with organizations committed to ensuring that the right to vote is not impeded for anyone, particularly various members of communities in our backyard. 

Submitted on behalf of the

Amistad Institute of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association

*The Court’s complete opinion is available at this link: http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/717250-supreme-courts-voting-rights-act-decision.html

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The Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association was founded in 1996. Formerly, the organization was known as the Amistad Suffolk Black Bar Association before it expanded to both the Nassau and Suffolk regions. Amistad was created to foster community, professional development, and growth among attorneys of color in the Long Island area.

Amistad is an affiliate of the National Bar Association.

STATEMENT OF THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK REGARDING THE SUPREME COURT’S RECENT VOTING RIGHTS ACT DECISION

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) urges the United States Congress to reinstate the enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Section 4, that were invalidated this past Tuesday, June 25, 2013 by the United States Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder.

Shelby eliminates the preclearance requirement for certain states or areas in which discrimination had historically been found to exist.  Preclearance required covered states and jurisdictions to submit all changes affecting voting and elections for preapproval by the U.S. Department of Justice.  The decision in Shelby will likely lead to legal sanctioning of efforts to undermine voting rights.

This ruling hits home. Certain New York counties including New York, Kings and the Bronx were areas for which preclearance had been required, based on a prior history of voter discrimination. The Shelby ruling clears the way for the reinstatement of discriminatory practices, such as efforts to restrict access to voting sites or attempts to gerrymander voting districts to dilute the voting power of Asian Americans in New York’s Chinatown or African Americans in Harlem. The profound impact of such practices on the voting rights and electoral aspirations of the affected minority voters in those areas cannot be overstated.

The record the Supreme Court considered contains ample evidence that voting rights discrimination is alive and well in 2013 as it was in 1964.  Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion chronicles that evidence. 

The unfettered right to vote is a precondition of representative democracy.  Retrenchment on that right undermines many other rights such as the right to free speech.  Until Shelby, the necessity of a strong Voting Rights Act was universally recognized. 

Congress must act and exercise its power to provide the checks and balances that our Constitution established when the Founders formed our union to ensure a balanced government.  Voting rights are under attack and we urge Congress and the Administration to take prompt action to defend this most fundamental civil right.

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AABANY was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, paralegals and law students.  The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

NAPABA Applauds Marriage Equality Decisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee
(202) 775-9555

WASHINGTON – In two watershed marriage equality decisions announced today, the U.S. Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, and found that proponents of Proposition 8 in Perry v. Hollingsworth lack standing to appeal the federal district court decision, which struck down the amendment. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has long supported marriage equality, and joined amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court as well as in lower court proceedings in both cases.

“Today is a historic day for our nation as we move one step closer to equality for all Americans,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. “As a Californian, I am especially proud that NAPABA has supported marriage equality in Windsor and Perry, and in many other cases, and we look forward to the implementation of both decisions.”

Windsor challenged DOMA, a federal law that denies legally married same-sex couples the same federal benefits provided to heterosexual spouses. Justice Kennedy delivered the 5-4 decision and held that “though Congress has great authority to design laws to fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”

In Perry, Chief Justice Roberts led the 5-4 Court in dismissing an appeal to reinstate California’s Proposition 8, a voter-passed measure outlawing marriage between same-sex couples because of lack of standing. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion “[w]e have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.”

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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 66 state and 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.

AALDEF Press Release on SCOTUS Decision in Shelby

AALDEF Press Release on SCOTUS Decision in Shelby

CBAC Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 24, 2013

HNBA Contact: Erika Lopez (202) 223-4777 
NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
NBA Contact: Erika Owens (202) 842-3900 
NNABA Contact: Mary Smith (405) 761-1723 

Coalition of Bar Associations of Color 
Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

WASHINGTON – The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) – the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) – is reassured by the Supreme Court’s decision today to reaffirm the principle that diversity in higher education is a compelling national interest. We remain cautiously optimistic about the Court’s decision to send the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court partially vacated a lower court ruling that had upheld the right of the University of Texas at Austin to partially consider race in its admissions’ policy. However, in deciding Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, it left intact the precedent it set in Grutter v. Bollinger, which allows schools to consider racial diversity as an admissions factor.

Last summer, CBAC filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. The brief highlights the progress made in diversifying the legal profession since the Court’s ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, while discussing the continued need for race-conscious admissions programs to further the diversification of the legal profession.

“We are encouraged that the United States Supreme Court’s ruling affirmed the Grutter v. Hollinger decision which allows racial and ethnic diversity to be considered as one of many factors in a carefully crafted admissions policy,” stated HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr. “These are important factors to consider when taking a holistic admissions approach, and the Court in a 7-1 strongly supports our position.”

“We are encouraged by the Court’s decision today in Fisher,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. “A strong majority of the Court has stood in support of diversity as a compelling interest, and members of the Asian Pacific American community are heartened by this outcome. We see evidence of the importance of a diverse workforce every day in the legal profession, and are thankful that our nation’s commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion has been ratified today.”

“Today’s decision underscores diversity as a compelling interest for all institutions of education and higher learning,” stated John E. Page, President of the National Bar Association. “Even with strict scrutiny of the methods used to achieve such diversity, the US Supreme Court continues to agree that many factors, including race, can be a factor in an admissions program.”

“Diversity is important to educational opportunities for all and furthers classroom discussion and understanding,” said Mary Smith, President of the National Native Bar Association. “We are heartened that the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of diversity.”

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Ozawa/Thind Re-enactment Video

Ozawa/Thind Re-enactment Video