FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2006
CONTACT: Les Jin, (202) 775-9555
NAPABA EXPRESSES CONCERNS OVER JUDGE ALITO’S RECORD
Washington, D.C. – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) expressed its concerns regarding the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to be Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. With the Senate vote on the confirmation of Judge Alito expected this week, NAPABA addressed the 100 members of the United States Senate in a letter sent today.
NAPABA focused on the areas of affirmative action, employment discrimination, and immigration that are some of the issues in which NAPABA has been actively engaged over the years. Concerns emerged upon examination of Judge Alito’s record in these areas.
An issue of particular concern is Judge Alito’s views on affirmative action, a principle NAPABA has endorsed through its support of the University of Michigan affirmative action program in Grutter v. Bollinger.
Judge Alito has written that he was “particularly proud of [his] contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed.” NAPABA’s letter to the Senate noted that Judge Alito’s statement refers to his participation in three major affirmative action Supreme Court cases involving goals and timetables in their remedies for discrimination – remedies deemed appropriate by the Supreme Court. The letter specified NAPABA’s concern regarding Judge Alito’s erroneous characterization of affirmative action as “quotas.”
“As representatives of the Asian Pacific American legal profession who work toward remedying the impact of generations of discriminatory actions against communities of color, we are concerned that Judge Alito’s portrayal of Supreme Court-upheld affirmative action remedies as ’quotas‘ will negatively impact affirmative action policies overall,” explained NAPABA President Amy Lin Meyerson.
“In our capacity as a minority bar association that has examined and weighed the evidence and testimony presented, we are voicing the concerns of the Asian Pacific American legal community,” stated Les Jin, NAPABA Executive Director. “We purposefully withheld judgment until after the confirmation hearings in order to incorporate Judge Alito’s testimony into our study of his record,” he continued. “We hope that our examination of Judge Alito’s record provides a fuller perspective to inform senators in their decision-making processes.”
“NAPABA has worked diligently over the years to address civil rights issues related to Asian Pacific American communities,” remarked Ms. Meyerson. “We urge the Senate to take to heart the concerns of the Asian Pacific American legal community in its debate.”
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 47 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.