Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Concerned? Yes!

Should Our Community Be Concerned?

A glance at the table below will reveal:

In 1988, the paucity of Asian Am federal judges was already pitiful. We represented 2.73% of nation's population but only 0.67% of the 749 Article III federal judges. Only 4 District & 1 Appeals Court federal judges were Asian Ams.

18 years later, in 2006, our population % almost doubled to 4.91%; our nation's Article III judges has increased by 115; our % of lawyers has increased greatly, yet, still ONLY 6 life-tenured judges were Asian Ams, NONE at the Appeals court level!

That was an astounding regression. Just the increase in population & the increase in federal judges from 749 to 864 should have gotten us 10 such judges. It was sad in 1988, but 18 years later, the situation got sadder! If the proportion of such judges reflects the population ratio, there would be 42 such Asian Am. judges in 2006, not that 80-20 is arguing for a quota system. However, having only 6 Asian Am federal judges among the 846 in year 2006 was outrageous. Who is minding the store?

That was when 80-20 held a press conference to announce its goal to remedy the situation, in the presence of 4 of the 6 Asian Am. federal judges. Since then we greatly publicized our "legal eagles" and the paucity of Asian Am federal judges. In addition, 80-20 sent a questionnaire to all presidential candidates and obtained iron-clad commitments from 9 of the 11 for a dramatic increase of Asian Am federal judges, in numbers and in ranks, including those of President Obama and V.P. Biden.

NOTE: NAPABA stands for The National Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc.
** (1) - the number in red represents the number of Court of Appeals judges

80-20 Deeply Regrets

that its quiet and repeated efforts since 2005 to engage NAPABA to work together has failed. NAPABA's expertise in the legal profession and 80-20's political know-how should make a good combination serving our community. Without that combination, 80-20 finally & reluctantly decided to invite public scrutiny of the table shown above to get 80-20 and perhaps its sister Asian Am. orgs. to be on our toes.

Invitation to Community to Scrutinize 80-20's Behavior

Many minority organizations, be they black, Hispanic, and Asian Am, limited by the glass ceiling, tend to perceive a "zero sum world" and engage in bitter turf fights. Is 80-20 behaving that way? We invite our community to be our boss. Let us know when we display a "king of the hill" attitude, or "big fish in a small pond" mentality, or are fierce in turf fights with Asian Am orgs but timid in fighting for our community's rightful shares in our great nation. Such behavior is demeaning to the noble purpose of any org. The community should remind us to stop.

NAPABA's Reply to 80-20 of July 7, 2009

It that letter, NAPABA deems 80-20's proposal to NAPABA and its faith in President Obama's signed, single-word-commitments (6 yeses to six questions) as politically naïve; impugns 80-20's motives; and said a number of other things. NAPABA wants 80-20 to publicize that letter. The request is hereby honored, since we respect NAPABA though we urge it to act with more gusto. Visit to read that letter.

Get The Job Done!

Whether it will be two orgs working together,or 80-20 & NAPABA acting independently for the shared goal, we must get the job done -- more Asian Am. Federal District and Appeals judges. America & our community benefit.

Forward this e-newsletter to your Asian Am. lawyer friends.

To join 80-20, go Click on the red button "JOIN 80-20." Or send you check to 80-20 PAC, PO Box 22509, Philadelphia, PA 19110. Dues of NEW members are matched up to $3,500. THANK YOU.

Respectfully yours,

S. B. Woo
Acting Executive Director (a volunteer), 80-20 PAC, Inc.