New Report Showcases AAPI Representation in State Supreme Courts

Press Release

Report

Issues

Racial Equity


Press Contact


Zack Ford
zack.ford@afj.org
202-464-7370

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2024 – In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, Alliance for Justice proudly announces the release of a special report, The Faces of Justice Volume 2: AAPI State Supreme Court Justices. This report is the second installment in a series dedicated to showcasing the important role of diversity in the justice system.

Forty-one states have never had an AAPI justice serve on their highest courts, despite some of these states having significant AAPI populations. This glaring absence of representation highlights systemic issues that continue to exclude AAPI people from key positions in the judiciary, perpetuating a history of disparity and inequity.

The report also highlights the contributions and backgrounds of AAPI justices who have served on nine state supreme courts. These profiles offer an in-depth look at their journeys and the diverse experiences they bring to the judiciary. By shining a light on these trailblazers, the report underscores the positive impact that diversity can have on our legal system.

Historically, AAPI individuals were excluded from many aspects of American society, including the legal profession, throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries. This exclusion has led to a continued underrepresentation of AAPI people in government positions, particularly within the state and federal judiciaries. The ongoing lack of diversity perpetuates a history of disparity and fails to reflect the rich, multicultural fabric of our society. This report serves as a call to action to address the longstanding gaps in representation and to ensure that the judiciary reflects the communities it serves.

Alliance for Justice Vice President of Strategy, Keith Thirion, issued the following statement: 

“Our findings are a stark reminder of the work still needed to diversify our judicial institutions. The release of The Faces of Justice Volume 2 underscores the critical need to promote diversity on our state court benches. It argues that the inclusion of diverse lived experiences is essential for a truly representative and fair justice system. Promoting diversity within our courts is not just a matter of representation, but a step toward ensuring equity and fairness in our justice system.”

Click here to read The Faces of Justice Volume 2: AAPI State Supreme Court Judges.