WASHINGTON — Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2011, President Obama renominated Professor Goodwin Liu and Judge Edward M. Chen to the federal bench along with 40 others. Leaders from the Asian Pacific American community are renewing their call for a swift and fair confirmation for both men.
“We applaud President Obama for renominating Professor Liu and Judge Chen and for his commitment to getting both men confirmed in the new Congress,” said Paul O. Hirose, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Our courts are overburdened and these well-qualified nominees would fill ‘judicial emergencies’ that should not remain vacant a moment longer.”
Both men received the highest possible rating from the American Bar Association and would fill vacancies designated as “judicial emergencies.” There are 96 vacancies in the federal judiciary, 44 of which are considered “emergencies.”
“We urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider the nominations of Professor Liu and Judge Chen without delay, their records are a matter of public record and the Committee has already thoroughly vetted each nominee numerous times,” said Tina Matsuoka, executive director of NAPABA. “We expect the Senate leadership to schedule a floor vote promptly and without any additional delays. Any further delay for Judge Chen’s nomination would be particularly egregious.”
Judge Chen was originally nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on August 5, 2009. He has waited longer than any of the president’s judicial nominees – more than 500 days – for a confirmation vote. Professor Liu was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 24, 2010.
NAPABA looks forward to working with the new Senate on scheduling swift votes for Professor Liu and Judge Chen. We hope that the Senate will prioritize the needs of the judiciary and the administration of
justice above politics in the 112th Congress.