Chen Voted Out of Committee

Chen Voted out of Committee, NAPABA and AAJC Press for Confirmation Vote

On Thursday March 17, the Senate Judiciary Committee once again recommended Judge Edward M. Chen for a federal judgeship. Members of the committee voted 10-8 on a party line vote, with all Democrats voting in support of Judge Chen’s nomination and all Republicans opposing. Leaders of the Asian Pacific American community renewed their call for the full Senate to confirm Judge Chen without additional delay. Now that Judge Chen has been voted out of committee, the full senate must come to a vote. Read the full article here.

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Updates on Judicial Nominees

TIME FOR SENATE TO CONFIRM PROFESSOR GOODWIN LIU

Paul O. Hirose, President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, recently authored an op-ed in AsianWeek in support of the nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. You can read it here.

EDWARD CHEN’S JUDICIAL NOMINATION

The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) has scheduled Judge Ed Chen’s nomination for markup in the upcoming Executive Business meeting on March 10 (Thursday).  Judge Chen’s nomination will likely be handled at the next SJC Executive Business Meeting on March 17th.  On that date, you may watch the SJC deliberate and vote on Judge Chen’s nomination via webstream on the SJC website here.

Goodwin Liu’s Second Hearing This Afternoon 03/02/11

Goodwin Liu’s second hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is this afternoon at 2:45 pm ET. The webcast will be available here.

Richard W. Painter, who is the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota and who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, just posted an extensive article on the Huffington Post that outlines why Goodwin should be confirmed and debunks many of the incorrect claims peddled by opponents of his nomination.  Painter states in his conclusion, “Liu is eminently qualified. He has support from prominent conservatives. He would fill a judicial emergency vacancy, and he would add important diversity to the bench. He is pragmatic and open-minded, not dogmatic or ideological, as his support for school vouchers shows.” The link to the full article can be found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-painter/qualified-measured-and-ma_b_829298.html. Please share with your colleagues and communities.

Support Goodwin Liu – Attend his Second Hearing in D.C. or Join a Local Watch Party!

Last year, President Obama nominated Professor Goodwin Liu, who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This will be Professor Liu’s second hearing before the Committee. He previously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in April 2010.

On Wednesday, March 2, at 3:00 p.m. EST, Professor Goodwin Liu will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please join NAPABA in supporting this historic event by attending the nomination hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building (Dirksen-226) or by attending one of our watch parties across the country.

You can join a local NAPABA watch party in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Cleveland, Ohio.

California

Los Angeles:
Meyer Brown LLP
350 S Grand Ave # 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3486
contact: RSVP to Christina Yang at cyang@mayerbrown.com and Karin Wang at kwang@apalc.org

San Francisco:
The Law Offices of Edwin Prather
461 Bush Street, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94108
contact: RSVP to Edwin Prather at edwin@pratherlawoffices.com

Illinois

Chicago:
Vedder Price P.C.
222 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60601
contact: RSVP to Diana Lin at aabachicago@yahoo.com by NOON, Wednesday March 2, 2011 All names of attendees must be provided in advance due to building security.

Ohio

Cleveland:
Margaret W. Wong & Associates
3150 Chester Ave. MWW Building
Cleveland, OH 44114
P: (216) 566-9908 (x128 or x227)
Contact: RSVP to Kallen Trachsel at ktrachsel@napaba.org

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia:
Archer & Greiner, P.C.
One Liberty Place
Thirty-Second Floor
1650 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7393
Contact: RSVP to Stella Tsai at stsai@archerlaw.com no later than COB, Tuesday March 1.

Nevada

Las Vegas: Location Coming Soon.

Second Hearing for Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu, nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 2, 2011. This will be Professor Liu’s second hearing before the Committee. He previously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in April 2010. You can watch the webcast of his hearing on March 2 LIVE. Click here.

Renomination of Judicial Nominees Professor Goodwin Liu and Judge Edward M. Chen

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.

NAPABA and AAJC Deeply Disappointed by Continued Senate Inaction on Judicial Nominations of Goodwin Liu and Edward M. Chen

WASHINGTON – After months of needless delay, the Senate continues to deny Asian Pacific American judicial nominees Professor Goodwin Liu and Judge Edward M. Chen an up-or-down vote.

Originally nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Aug. 6, 2009, Judge Chen has waited longer than any of President Obama’s judicial nominees – almost 500 days – for a confirmation vote. Professor Liu was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Feb. 24.

Until last week, the Senate had not moved any judicial nominations since September, despite the more than 100 vacancies in the federal judiciary and more than 50 judicial emergencies. Both Professor Liu and Judge Chen await confirmation to seats considered judicial emergencies.

Both parties are to blame for the mistreatment of these Asian Pacific American judicial nominees.

“Professor Liu and Judge Chen are both eminently qualified to serve, and the Senate has done both nominees and the Asian Pacific American community a grave disservice in failing to give them a long overdue floor vote in the Senate,” said Paul O. Hirose, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had promised California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer that the nominations of Professor Liu and Judge Chen would be taken up before the end of the year. In the face of continued filibuster threats by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership of these and the over 30 other pending judicial nominations, Senator Reid decided against scheduling time on the floor of the Senate to allow an up-or-down vote for Professor Liu and Judge Chen during the lame-duck session.

“We are deeply disappointed in the Senate and its failure to act with fairness towards these two well-qualified Asian Pacific American judicial nominees,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center. “Senator Reid should have brought both of these candidates up for a vote much earlier this year and Senator McConnell and his Republican colleagues should stop preventing the rest of the Senate from voting. The Republican leadership should stop blocking women and minority candidates and slowing down progress in increasing the diversity of the federal judiciary.”

Asian Pacific Americans are vastly underrepresented in the courts. Out of 875 active Article III judges in the nation, only 13 are Asian Pacific Americans. There is only one federal appellate judge in the country, and none on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where Asian Pacific Americans make up a significant percentage of the population.

If, as anticipated, the Senate does not take up the nominations of Professor Liu and Judge Chen before adjourning the 111th Congress, President Obama is expected to renominate both men next year. NAPABA and AAJC look forward to working with the new Senate on scheduling swift votes for both Professor Liu and Judge Chen. We hope and expect that Senate leadership will promptly schedule an up-or-down vote on both Professor Liu and Judge Chen and commit the necessary time for the Senate to fully consider these nominees.

NAPABA and AAJC applaud President Obama for his commitment to nominating well-qualified, diverse candidates to the bench, and thank Sens. Feinstein and Boxer for their continued leadership on this issue.