NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III Testifies before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property on the Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary

For Immediate Release: 
Date: July 12, 2021

Contact: Edgar Chen, Policy Director

Click here for Testimony.

WASHINGTON – This morning, NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property at a hearing entitled, “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary, Part 2: The Selection and Confirmation Process.” President Cruz’s testimony on behalf of NAPABA highlighted the challenges that Asian Pacific American attorneys often encounter as they attempt to advance in the legal profession. According to the 2017 landmark study “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law” (“Portrait Project”) published jointly by NAPABA and Yale Law School, the most often cited issues are lack of mentorship and role models, lack of leadership training, and work going unrecognized. President Cruz’s testimony also drew on the Portrait Projects finding that the selection process for clerkships or law firm promotion – often a prerequisite for judicial consideration, involves not only measures of objective criteria but also access to mentorship and subjective criteria which are often amorphous factors that decision makers rely on to determine whom they regard as their proteges. President Cruz was joined on the panel by his Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) colleague and Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) President Elia Diaz Yeager.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, 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 all backgrounds in the legal profession..

Chris Kwok Testifies Before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety on March 22

On March 22, Chris Kwok testified on behalf of AABANY before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety in support of two changes to the funding of Hate Crime Units of New York District Attorneys’ Offices. These recommendations call for Hate Crime Units to be staffed with full-time prosecutors and legal support personnel, and for periodic audits by the committee to ensure their use of dedicated funds for hate crime prosecution. Chris shared that AABANY first voiced these recommendations in its report on anti-Asian violence. The report specifically identified the “Jade Squad”—a police division formed to combat Chinese gang violence in the 1970s— and concomitant Asian Gang Units that were formed at the District Attorney’s Office. In line with these successful historical efforts, AABANY now advocates for the creation of dedicated and fully funded hate crime divisions in law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices.

The AABANY report recounts numerous instances of assault and harassment against Asian Americans in New York over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chris highlighted the persistence of such racially fueled attacks to this day. Chris also noted that media outlets, community leaders, and politicians have since backed AABANY’s proposals to fully fund and formally staff anti-hate-crime initiatives. Among these supporters, Chris identified the inspector of the NYPD Task Force and New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang. In the face of unrelenting anti-Asian violence throughout the state, Chris explained that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and District Attorneys’ Office Hate Crime Units require dedicated funding and full-time personnel to improve their reporting structures. Only with such resources can anti-hate-crime initiatives produce reports that adequately detail the efforts of law enforcement to stem anti-Asian violence. The statement concluded with Chris’s message that fully funded and full-time Hate Crime Units are critical to encouraging the continued reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes and to fostering greater trust within the Asian American community. To read Chris’s written statement, submitted with his testimony, click here.

Chris Kwok Testifies Before the City Council Committee on Public Safety

On March 16, Chris Kwok testified on behalf of AABANY before the City Council Committee on Public Safety in support of two changes to the NYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force: to fully fund the Task Force and to replace its volunteer staff with paid personnel. An AABANY Board Director and Chair of the Issues Committee, Chris shared that AABANY was the first to publicly voice these recommendations in its report on anti-Asian violence. The report recounts numerous instances of assault and harassment against Asian Americans in New York over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chris highlighted the persistence of such racially fueled attacks to this day. Chris also noted that media outlets, community leaders, and politicians have since backed AABANY’s proposals to fully fund and formally staff the Task Force. Among these supporters, Chris identified the inspector of the Task Force itself, New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, and all of the District 1 City Council candidates. District 1 covers Manhattan’s Chinatown among other neighborhoods and sites. In the face of unrelenting anti-Asian violence throughout the state, the statement concluded with Chris’s call for a fully funded and full-time task force to foster trust within the Asian American community and to encourage the continued reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes. To read Chris’s written statement, submitted with his testimony, click here. AABANY gratefully acknowledges Student Leader Taiyee Chien for his assistance in drafting the statement.

NAPABA Submits Testimony in Support of Srinivasan Nomination

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400 
Washington, DC 20006


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
April 9, 2013

Contact: Emily Chatterjee 
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA SUBMITS TESTIMONY AND URGES SWIFT CONFIRMATION 
OF SRI SRINIVASAN TO BECOME THE FIRST INDIAN AMERICAN 
FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT JUDGE IN THE NATION’S HISTORY

WASHINGTON, DC – In anticipation of tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Srikanth “Sri” Srinivasan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) submitted testimony in strong support of Srinivasan’s confirmation. If confirmed, he will be the first Indian American to serve as a federal appellate court judge in the nation’s history. He also would be the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the D.C. Circuit.

As noted in NAPABA’s testimony, the nomination is especially important to the Asian Pacific American community, given that out of the approximately 175 active federal appellate court judges, there are currently only two who are Asian Pacific American. Moreover, the fact that over 3.1 million Indian Americans live in the United States, the lack of any Indian American federal appellate court judge is notable.

Srinivasan has received extremely high praise from all segments of the legal community. The list includes numerous federal judges (including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor), former government officials, and professors. 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.” All of them state that Srinivasan will be an “excellent” or “tremendous” appellate court judge.

NAPABA urges for Srinivasan’s prompt confirmation. As NAPABA’s testimony stated, “Sri Srinivasan would make an immediate contribution as a federal circuit judge. His qualifications, integrity, intellect, and commitment to the justice system are unquestionable. He also brings with him an all-American life story that is inspiring.”

A copy of NAPABA’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee can be found 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 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 people of color in the legal profession.