FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 3, 2005
CONTACT: Les Jin, (202) 775-9555
NAPABA CALLS ON THE SENATE TO EXAMINE HARRIET MIERS’ RECORD ON DIVERSITY
Washington, DC – President Bush announced today the nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers to fill the remaining vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms. Miers has served as White House Counsel since February of 2005. She was previously the Administration’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and earlier served as Staff Secretary.
Ms. Miers has not served in a judicial capacity and has little available written record to shed light on her legal philosophy or policy positions. As the voice for the Asian Pacific American legal profession nationwide, NAPABA believes a proven record of actively embracing the diversity of this nation is vital to serve on the Supreme Court. NAPABA urges the Senate to examine both the written record and testimony from Ms. Miers closely to ensure that this important criteria is met.
NAPABA again requests that the Senate reach out to communities of color as it considers this nominee. It is critical that our federal judiciary, beginning with the U.S. Supreme Court, much better understand and appreciate the ethnic and racial diversity of this country.
In assessing Ms. Miers’ qualifications, NAPABA requests that Senators include the following important considerations in their examination:
Does the nominee recognize that in decision-making and deliberative bodies, the diversity of backgrounds – of race, of culture, of language, and more – all contribute to the diversity of viewpoints necessary to serve all Americans?
Does the nominee understand the history of communities of color in the United States, and recognize that such history is integral to the development of American society?
Does the nominee understand the value of the contributions of individuals or communities that have faced and continue to face challenges unique to their circumstances? Is the nominee able to view individuals’ accomplishments in the full context of these circumstances?
Does the nominee recognize that the diversity of this pluralist society is a strength that should be valued, as among the least of its contributions are the robust exchange of ideas, broadening of knowledge, and preparation for an increasingly global society?
“We urge the Senate to consider these questions in confirming any nominee to a lifetime position on our nation’s highest court,” remarked Michael P. Chu, President of NAPABA. “In an increasingly diverse country, a person appointed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court will make decisions that affect the lives of all Americans. Such a person must recognize, understand, and value diversity.”
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 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 APA 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.