Friday, April 23, 2010

True Story About Circuit Judge D. Chin

Happy News: Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin was
confirmed to be the U.S. Circuit Judge by the Senate.

A True Story of "Paying Forward" by Denny Chin &
other AsAm U.S. District judges:

In 2006, there were only 6 Asian Am judges, all of the lowest rank.
In comparison, there were 863 U.S. District, Circuit & Supreme Court
judges. 80-20 decided that this must change.

So 80-20 began publicizing names of the 6 AsAm judges frequently,
& planned a publicity event in Los Angeles, billed as "A Gathering of AsAm
Legal Eagles." All 6 judges were invited to a fancy restaurant for a
luncheon and a press conference. 4 of the judges came. See the picture
below (2 are not judges).

Two judges couldn't. Denny Chin was one of them. However, he wrote a
very detailed letter to strongly support our initiative to get many more AsAm
judges. See his letter at the bottom. The statistics he provided were used
by 80-20 to convince Am's political establishment that this MUST change.

The rest is history. See the table below my signature line to find how
things have improved in a short 4.5 year, though not yet enough.

Today, Denny Chin has been promoted. The chance for all other AsAm
judges to rise to higher ranks have greatly improved too. Asian Ams' chance
for equal justice might have improved as well.

Would that have been possible, if Denny Chin and the other AsAm
District judges didn't support 80-20's initiative in 2006? You be the judge.

This true story illustrates how paying forward works.

Pay forward. Join 80-20 by clicking on . Or
send a check to 80-20 PAC, P.O. Box 603, Osprey, FL 34229. 

Place your e-address at the back of your check please. We
need more members, especially Life Members, in order to help you!

Respectfully yours,

S. B. Woo, a volunteer,
Acting Exec. Director, 80-20 PAC, Inc.

A Letter From Denny Chin to S. B. Woo

Subject: Re: Invitation to a luncheon in LA on 2/11
From: Denny_Chin@xxxxxxxxx
Date: January 5, 2006 4:09:42 PM EST
To: sbw@UDel.Edu

Mr. Woo:

Thank you for the invitation, but I cannot make the luncheon in LA. . . .

I wanted to share some information with you. You may know most of this,
but you probably don't have the details.

There currently are only six active Asian-American Article III federal
judges in the country. All are trial judges, and there are no active Asian-
American judges in the federal appellate courts. (Judge Tashima in the
Ninth Circuit is on senior status.) Unless there are new appointments,
when Judge Ron Lew takes senior status later this year, we will be down to
five Asian-American Article III judges. When I was appointed in 1994, I
was the only Asian-American Article III judge outside the Ninth Circuit.
Today, eleven years later, I am still the only one outside the Ninth Circuit.

Other minority groups fair much better. The most recent available
statistics show that, as of September 30, 2004, for Article III federal judges,
0.7% were Asian (6), 10.7% were African-American (88), and 6.5% were
Hispanic (54). These numbers are for active judges and do not include
judges on senior status. (See Adm. Office of U.S. Courts, Judiciary Fair
Employment Practices, Annual Report 10/1/03-9/30/04, at 35).

Hence there are some 15 times as many African-American federal judges
and almost 10 times as many Hispanic federal judges as there are Asian-
American federal judges.

In contrast, there are more Asian-American "legal professionals" at law
firms of 100 or more employees, as of 2002, than there are African-
American or Hispanic professionals. This is drawn from a 2003 EEOC
report ( The
numbers are: 5.3% Asian-American, 4.4% African American, and 2.9%
Hispanic. In this context, "legal professionals" are predominantly lawyers
but include other professional employees, such as non-lawyer accountants.

In addition, the 2000 Census shows that for lawyers, 2.3% were Asian,
3.9% were African-American, and 3.3% were Hispanic. (See Of course, these
numbers are now five years old, and I would guess that there are even
more Asian lawyers today, on a percentage basis.

The numbers are appalling -- there are a grossly disproportionately low
number of Asian-American Article III federal judges.

So the efforts of you and your group in this respect are most welcome.


Footnotes by S. B. Woo:
1) The emphasis were added by me, and
2) I would NOT have publicized the above letter except that Denny Chin has
already been confirmed. 80-20 is a student of politics.
3) Yesterday, Pres. Obama nominated yet another AsAm, Edmond Chang of IL,
to be a District Court judge. We again thank Pres. Obama.