Support Judge Edward Chen

Take a minute to read this letter from Keith Kamisugi of Asian Americans for Obama:

Dear Friends, 

I’m writing to ask for your help in sending a letter in support of Magistrate Judge Edward Chen of California, whose nomination by President Obama to the federal court, Northern District of California, has been attacked despite having an excellent record as a judge.

 It just takes 15 seconds to send Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada a letter in support of Judge Chen through an online form at …

President Obama has to re-nominate Judge Chen this month because the Senate did not take a full vote on the nomination, despite it being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The President originally nominated Judge Chen to the federal court in August 2009 on recommendation from U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

Judge Chen’s character has been attacked despite his mainstream values and a demonstrated record serving as a balanced, fair and unbiased jurist. He has received extremely positive support from a diverse group of individuals and organizations, including a “Unanimously Well Qualified” rating by the American Bar Association.

Judge Chen’s nomination deserves a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate and you can help make that happen by sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Complete the very short online form at and your letter with be sent at no expense to you.

The site also has links to more information and ways that you can keep in touch with this effort.



According to the Asian American Bar Association (via Asian Pacific Americans for Progress):

Chen would be the first Asian American district judge on the bench in the 150-year history of that district. He was also the first Asian American magistrate judge when he was appointed to that position on April 23, 2001.

Under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, federal judges require confirmation by the U.S. Senate and serve with lifetime tenure. Magistrate Judges have limited terms and serve as judicial officers of the district courts and exercise the jurisdiction delegated to them by law and assigned by federal district judges.

“I’ve known and worked with Judge Chen for more than 37 years and seen him become a great attorney and an outstanding jurist,” said attorney Dale Minami of Minami Tamaki LLP, who worked with Chen on the successful case to overturn the wartime conviction of Fred Korematsu for defying President Roosevelt’s internment order.

Garner Weng, President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) noted that while there were a number of excellent Asian American candidates, “Judge Chen earned this nomination for his record of public service and his experience as a federal magistrate. We are extremely proud of his nomination and of his participation in AABA over the years.”

“Judge Chen will be a tremendous addition to the bench and has a wide range of support from diverse groups, including the public interest, law enforcement, legal, and minority communities,” said Edwin Prather, President of the Asian Pacific Bar of California and a former clerk for Chen. Prather also said that Chen received the 2007 Barristers Choice Award, an honor voted on by the membership of BASF’s Barristers Club and awarded to a jurist who has made extraordinary efforts to educate and encourage lawyers new to the courtroom

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