Posted by: Audiegrl
Judge Denny Chin
In October 2009, President Obama nominated Judge Denny Chin for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Today the Senate voted 98-0 to confirm Judge Chin to fill an opening on a New York-based appeals court. He will be the only Asian-American currently serving on a U.S. Court of Appeals.
Judge Denny Chin was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong. His family moved to the United States when he was 2 years old. Judge Chin was raised in New York City, attending Stuyvesant High School, a New York public school specializing in math and science, before attending Princeton University. He graduated from Princeton magna cum laude in 1975 and from Fordham Law School in 1978 where he was the managing editor of the Fordham Law Review.
After graduation, Judge Chin clerked on the Southern District of New York for Judge Henry F. Werker. He then spent two years at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1982. When he left the U.S. Attorney’s office in 1986, Judge Chin started a law firm with two colleagues: Campbell, Patrick & Chin. Four years later, he joined the law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., where he specialized in labor and employment law.
In 1994, Judge Chin was nominated and confirmed to the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York, where he currently serves. He is most famous for presiding over the Bernard Madoff case. He was the first Asian-American appointed as a U.S. District Court Judge outside of the Ninth Circuit.
Judge Chin has served as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law teaching legal research and writing since 1986. He is currently the Treasurer for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Judicial Council, and he has served as the President of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court and the President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. He also currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Fordham Law School Alumni Association and the Fordham Law School Law Review Association and as the Co-Chair for the Fordham Law School Minority Mentorship Program. Judge Chin is a member of the Federal Bar Council Public Service Committee, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
WASHINGTON—Democrats on Tuesday crushed a Senate filibuster against a controversial appeals court nominee, demonstrating to Republicans they can’t stop President Barack Obama from turning the federal judiciary to the left.
The 70-29 vote limited debate over the qualifications of U.S. District Judge David Hamilton of Indiana, and assured his elevation to the Chicago-based appeals court. Sixty votes were needed to end the filibuster, but confirmation only requires a simple majority of the 100-member Senate.
U.S. District Judge David Hamilton
Ten Republicans went against their own party leaders and voted to limit debate.
The vote emphatically warned Republicans that with only 40 senators, they’re too outnumbered to prevent Obama from making major inroads into a judiciary that was populated over eight years with conservative judges chosen by President George W. Bush.
Posted by Audiegrl
Latina Magazine/Shani Saxon-Parrish—America has never before met a wise Latina like Soñia Sotomayor. Latina contributor and former Editor-in-Chief Sandra Guzmán offers the first glimpse of the woman behind the robe in this exclusive profile of the newly minted Supreme Court justice.
Here is an excerpt from this fascinating story:
I first met Soñia in 1998, after she had been sworn in as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. I was the Editor-in-Chief of Latina, and a mutual friend, New York attorney Lee Llambelis, suggested that Sotomayor was someone I should meet since I’d probably want to write an article on her (which appeared in our March 1999 issue). Sotomayor’s life story not only inspired readers, but also captivated me.
Since then, we’ve been to each other’s homes for dinner and shared many sweet, honest and confidential conversations. A doting hostess, she puts together cheese platters, makes tasty salads and hooks up a mean churrasco with a tangy lemon marinade. This past spring, she promised to share some of her culinary secrets, so we set a date to fire up the grill in her small yet superb two-bedroom condo in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Soñia thought things would finally slow down for her by the summer—but that’s when things really started heating up.
During those grueling confirmation hearings in July, Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl dissected her now-famous “wise Latina” phrase, uttered during an inspirational lecture to Latino law students at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 2001.
The senators aggressively argued that her remarks proved she would bring bias and a liberal agenda to the bench. But Sotomayor repeatedly explained that her comments were part of a regrettable “rhetorical flourish that fell flat.” “I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging,” she said. She added that she was simply trying “to inspire young Hispanics, Latino students and lawyers to believe that their life experiences added value to the process.’’
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Soñia Sotomayor in the Justices’ Conference Room on Aug 8, 2009. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the new Associate Justice, holds the family Bible during the ceremony
As the new personification of an intellectual rock star, Sotomayor has been inundated with interview requests—from Vogue to Newsweek, El País to Le Monde. But the new justice has yet to agree to a sit-down, aside from one she granted C-Span for a documentary on the Supreme Court. When I asked about a formal interview for this magazine, she told me, “I am not doing interviews and have said no to everyone. I do not want to be seen as having favorites.”
She did, however, agree to have her portrait taken for the cover and inside pages. And she went as far as granting me her blessing: “You will have to write based on our history together.”
And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
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AP/Melinda Deslatte—A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and groom was black resigned Tuesday.
E. Keith Bardwell
Keith Bardwell, who is white, quit the post with a one-sentence statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and no explanation of his decision: “I do hereby resign the office of Justice of the Peace for the Eighth Ward of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, effective November 3, 2009.”
Bardwell refused to perform the ceremony for Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay because they are of different races.
When questioned about his refusal, Bardwell acknowledged he routinely recuses himself from marrying interracial couples because he believes such marriages cause harm to the couples’ children. In interviews, he said he refers such couples to other justices of the peace, who then perform the ceremony, which happened in this case.
Humphrey has said she and McKay received their marriage license from the parish clerk of court, where they also received a list of people qualified to perform the ceremony. When she called Bardwell’s office to ask about the ceremony on Oct. 6, Humphrey said Bardwell’s wife told her that the justice wouldn’t sign their marriage license because they were a “mixed couple.”
Newlyweds Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay
Humphrey and McKay have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell.
Some Unanswered Questions on the Justice of the Peace Who Refuses to Wed Interracial Couples Story
Posted by Audiegrl
Mildred and Richard Loving
It’s ironic that last Wednesday Louisiana was visited by the President of the United States, who just happens to be a biracial child of a interracial marriage. It was also the day that the story broke about the Louisianan Justice of the Peace who refused to marry a interracial couple. We all thought that in 1967, in the case Loving vs. Virginia
, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot prohibit marriages simply because of the race of the spouses. But E. Keith Bardwell has other ideas.
One of the things the National media has not picked up on yet…
In the past, Bardwell has always campaigned
as a Democratic Justice of the Peace (1996, 2002, 2008). His ward is in a historically Democratic area. As of 12/31/2008 Bardwell switched parties and is now listed as a Republican
. We would like to know what prompted this abrupt change in political parties? What happened that would make a long time Democrat in a Democratic district change party affiliations?
Another thing the National media has not picked up on yet…
Due to some great investigative journalism by local reporter Don Ellzey of the Hammond Daily Star
, we know that:
Bardwell said the State Attorney General told him years ago that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial marriages.
“I told him if I do, I’ll resign,” Bardwell said. “I have rights too. I’m not obligated to do that just because I’m a justice of the peace.”
The 44 Diaries has contacted the Louisiana State’s Attorney’s office to get further clarification. We contacted Jennifer Roche, the Public Information Officer for the Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell. We specifically asked if the LSA office had any official statement on this incident. We also asked if the LSA office had any comment on Bardwell’s claim that a “State Attorney General told him years ago that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial marriages.” If a previous AG knew he was doing something illegal, then why was he allowed to run for and serve as justice of the peace all these years? We contacted the office Friday afternoon by both phone and email, and have not recieved a reply yet. We will gladly provide an update once those questions have been answered.
CNN/AP—A justice of the peace in Louisiana who has drawn widespread criticism for refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple says he has no regrets about his decision.
Newlyweds Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay
“It’s kind of hard to apologize for something that you really and truly feel down in your heart you haven’t done wrong,” Keith Bardwell told CNN affiliate WAFB on Saturday.
Bardwell, a justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward, refused to issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her then boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond.
Bardwell’s actions have elicited reactions from some top officials, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who called for Bardwell’s dismissal.
Gov. Bobby Jindal
“This is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. … disciplinary action should be taken immediately — including the revoking of his license,” the Republican governor said Friday.
AP—Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.
“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”
E. Keith Bardwell
“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”
AP—Bardwell has said he always asks if a couple is interracial and, if they are, refers them to another justice of the peace. Bardwell said no one had complained in the past and he doesn’t marry the couples because he’s worried about their children’s futures.
“Perhaps he’s worried the kids will grow up and be president,” said Bill Quigley, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice, referring to President Barack Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas.
William P. Quigley
Obama’s deputy press secretary Bill Burton echoed those sentiments.
“I’ve found that actually the children of biracial couples can do pretty good,” Burton told reporters aboard Air Force One as it flew to Texas.
Bardwell maintains he can recuse himself from marrying people. Quigley disagreed.
“A justice of the peace is legally obligated to serve the public, all of the public,” Quigley said. “Racial discrimination has been a violation of Louisiana and U.S. law for decades. No public official has the right to pick and choose which laws they are going to follow.”
A spokeswoman for the Louisiana Judiciary Commission said investigations were confidential and would not comment. If the commission recommends action to the Louisiana Supreme Court, the matter would become public.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said in a statement Bardwell’s practices and comments were deeply disturbing.
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-LA)
“Not only does his decision directly contradict Supreme Court rulings, it is an example of the ugly bigotry that divided our country for too long,” she said.
Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess said Bardwell’s views were not consistent with his or those of the local government. But as an elected official, Bardwell was not under the supervision of the parish government.
Gordon Burgess, Tangipahoa Parish President
“However, I am certainly very disappointed that anyone representing the people of Tangipahoa Parish, particularly an elected official, would take such a divisive stand,” Burgess said in an e-mail. “I would hope that Mr. Bardwell would consider offering his resignation if he is unable to serve all of the people of his district and our parish.”
Louisiana’s Gov. Jindal calls for ouster of judge who refused marriage license to interracial couple
Louisiana Justice of the Peace Denies Marriage License to Interracial Couple
Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License By Louisiana Judge
Groups Upset Man Wouldn’t Marry Interracial Couple
TPM/Justin Elliott—Reached on her cell phone by TPMmuckraker and informed of the $20,000 fine imposed on her by a federal judge this morning, Birther attorney Orly Taitz responded, first, with laughter.
Birther Queen Orly Taitz
“So he didn’t recuse himself?” Taitz asked, after letting out an extended, nervous-sounding chuckle.
Still defiant after months of legal wrangling and, by our count, three written denunciations by federal district court Judge Clay Land, Taitz said she had absolutely no plans to pay the $20,000 fine.
“Are you kidding? Of course not,” she said, asked whether she planned to send a check. “This is a form of intimidation.”
Judgment Day: Birther Taitz Fined $20,000 For Misconduct
Orly Taitz Slapped With $20,000 Sanction
Posted by TheLCster
McClatchy/Michael Doyle—A recast Supreme Court kicked off its new season Monday, with novice Justice Sonia Sotomayor immediately taking center stage.
In just an hour, the court’s newest justice asked more questions than Justice Clarence Thomas has asked over the course of several years. Sotomayor’s aggressive role in a Fifth Amendment case, in turn, underscored how she could put her own stamp on a court whose 2009-2010 docket is still taking shape.
“The Supreme Court is already off to a notable start, and there is so much more to come,” Caroline Fredrickson, the executive director of the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers organization, said even before inaugural oral argument Monday.
The 55-plus cases already scheduled for the coming months cover everything from gun rights and patent protection to free speech and the punishment of juveniles. The court is likely to accept another 25 or so cases before the 2009-10 term ends next June.
Sotomayor Takes Active Role on Court’s First Day
Posted by Audiegrl
Associated Press/Matt Curry—A Texas judge cleared the way for two Dallas men to get a divorce, ruling Thursday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he’d appeal the ruling, which he labeled an attempt to strike down the ban approved by voters in 2005.
“The laws and constitution of the State of Texas define marriage as an institution involving one man and one woman,” Abbott said in a written statement. “Today’s ruling purports to strike down that constitutional definition — despite the fact that it was recently adopted by 75 percent of Texas voters.”
Abbott has argued that because the state doesn’t recognize gay marriage, its courts can’t dissolve one through divorce.
District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruled Thursday, however, that the court “has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.”
Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director for the New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal, said it is too early to predict the ultimate implications of the lawsuit, in which neither man is identified.
But Cathy Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, characterized the decision as a judicial overreach.
“Judicial activism is what they’re after, and it sounds as if they found someone in Dallas to participate in their endeavor,” she said. “The people of Texas have spoken very strongly in opposition to same-sex marriage.”
Peter Schulte, an attorney for the man who filed for divorce, told The Dallas Morning News that he and his client are “ecstatic” over the court’s ruling. Schulte said the decision was a surprise, and that he hoped to have the judge sign a divorce order in a few weeks.
I could say something here…but maybe its just best to let Ms. Taitz speak for herself 😉
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Birther Orly Taitz Faces California Bar Complaint Over Attack On Judge
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I Live Salsa—A couple days ago we got to see Justice Sotomayor have a little impromptu salsa on the dance floor. Led by Actor Esai Morales, the dance took place during an annual gala hosted by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA). The event was titled Noche Musicál and held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Washington Life TV was there to capture the event.
It’s great to watch our politicians (and Supreme Justices) in normal settings. It shows their human side and in this case, gives us a chance to look beyond the brutal confirmation hearings, and see the brilliant Justice Sotomayer relaxed and having fun. She is really good! Not to mention, she is dancing in high-heals on a recently broken ankle. Wow!
But in all honesty, who could turn down a dance with Esai Morales? I mean really… 🙂