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Republicans on Senate Judiciary Committee

Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
retired 2013: Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
deceased: Arlen Specter (R-PA)
deceased: Strom Thurmond (R-SC)
defeated in 2006: Mike DeWine (R-OH)
defeated in 2002: Robert C. Smith (R-NH)
defeated in 2000: John Ashcroft (R-MO)
defeated in 2000: Spencer Abraham (R-MI)

The Republican majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose addresses appear below, has imposed a glass ceiling on the confirmation of Asian-Americans by refusing to schedule their nominations for a hearing, much less a vote.

If these Republicans truly believed in a “colorblind” meritocracy, they would simply schedule hearings in the order candidates were nominated and take a vote.  If they believed particular nominees were unqualified, they would vote against confirmation.

Instead, these Republicans are afraid of a fair fight.  They have refused to schedule hearings or votes on Asian- American nominees, while expediting the process for white males.

Because the President is Democratic, almost all the nominees are Democrats, and all of them are supported by their state’s senators and were vetted by the American Bar Association.  The Asian-American nominees are as qualified or more qualified than the white males who have already been confirmed.

The imposition of a glass ceiling against Asian-Americans is blatant and outrageous.

Dolly Gee, nominated to the federal court in the Central District of California, has been waiting more than a year and still has not received a hearing on her nomination.  The Senate has confirmed at least 25 judges who were nominated after Gee.  None of those confirmed has been Asian Pacific American.

Gee is a labor and employment lawyer who has represented both management and labor. As an arbitrator or mediator, she has helped to resolve hundreds of disputes.  Her nomination is supported by California’s Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), and U.S. Rep. James E. Rogan (R-Glendale), one of the House impeachment managers.  The chief judge of the court where she would be serving — already short-staffed with four vacancies — also has written urging the committee to take action.

Four federal district court nominees who were nominated as late as June had hearings scheduled for July.  Two of those nominees — white males — were nominated on the same day as John Lim, a Korean American nominated to the Hawaii federal District Court.  Lim, like Gee, has yet to receive a hearing.

Norman Bay was nominated in May to be U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.  If confirmed, Bay would be the only Asian Pacific American among the 93 U.S. Attorneys.  As of July 2000, no hearing on his nomination is in sight.

The last Asian Pacific American judge to make it through the Senate Judiciary Committee — Susan Oki Mollway, now serving as a District Court judge in Hawaii – took 2 1/2 years to be confirmed.

Statistics from “Politics Snares Court Hopes of Minorities and Women,” August 22, 2000 USA Today and Citizens for Independent Courts (CFIC), a non-partisan group: “35% of Clinton’s minority nominees have not been confirmed by the Senate, compared with a 14% failure rate among whites.  On average, it takes about 8 months for minorities and women to get through the confirmation process; the average for white men is 5 months.”

The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
Chairman, Senate Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
131 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-4402
(202) 224-5251
(202) 224-6331 fax
senator_hatch@hatch.senate.gov

The Honorable Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
United States Senate
SH-135 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-1501
(202) 224-3744
(202) 224-6020 fax
chuck_grassley@grassley.senate.gov

The Honorable Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
United States Senate
SR-493 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-0104
(202) 224-4124
(202) 224-3149 fax
senator@sessions.senate.gov

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