On the Increase in Asian American Representation

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I think it’s good that the federal bench, including the Appellate Courts, reflect that diversity because although we all try to apply the same law, people do bring their personal experiences to whatever work they do. There’s just no way to avoid it. So, I think the government institutions, including the courts, should try to reflect that diversity that America represents today. So in that sense, I think it’s good that not only myself, but a number of other Japanese Americans are now on the district courts right? And a whole bunch in the state courts now. It’s just quite different.

When I started, let’s go back a little bit, before I started law school, I think there was one Japanese American judge, Superior Court Judge, John Aiso, and sometimes later there was… this is throughout the whole state you know? California has over 1,000 judges. There was one Chinese American judge, Delbert Wong, and I knew Delbert too, who was appointed few years after John Aiso. But out of more than a 1,000 judges, to have only 2 Asian judges, something is not right if you look at it. But that’s obviously changed quite a bit now, so I think it’s much more reflective now, which I think is better for everybody. 

Date: July 2, 2014
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Sakura Kato
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

Aiso bench california court Delbert diversity john judge law State Wong

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