Category Archives: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) blog

Supreme Court Affirmative Action ruling: Fisher sent back to the 5th Circuit

By a 7-1 ruling, The Supreme Court of the United States has sent the Fisher case that challenged affirmative action back to the lower court.

How do you get the rabid anti-AA types to rule with the rabid pro-AA types? You rule on a procedural matter on the law, and then throw the case out. In this case, the strict scrutiny requirement in the current law wasn’t followed to the court’s satisfaction. Instead, it saw the lower courts as being too deferential to the University of Texas and not challenging its use of race.

There were other better reasons to throw it out, but this one will do.

This is a victory of sorts. Affirmative action is not dead, and Fisher? Well, she can decide to take the matter up again. But there’s another case next year, and she might want to cut her losses.

More to come.

Vincent Chin: Another year, another anniversary, but a story we will never forget

I was on the road yesterday but did not forget that it was the 31st year after the death of Vincent Chin.

On a day when Edward Snowden continues his trek for freedom, another Giants loss, and a week of monumental constitutional decisions, there was little time on the news spent marking Chin’s story.

Check out my piece on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog to read my column based on the interview with Chin’s killer, first posted last year, the 30th anniversary of his murder.


That pesky NSA Monitoring: I was going to write about it, but as a Verizon customer for everything mobile and home, the government likely already knew what I was thinking before I could tell you

Just as the news broke yesterday about the National Security Agency’s monitoring of common Americans,  I was paying my Verizon bill, wireless and residential, and on-line yet. (Yes, I live in one of those godforsaken areas that was part of the  GTE monopoly that became Verizon).

For a second, I thought about not paying the bill out of protest. But then I figured maybe the government might be concerned if they couldn’t keep tabs on me. They might miss me or think the worst, like maybe that I have gone over to the dark side—joining those who really want privacy in this overexposed, everything out-in-the-open-kind-of-world.

I think that is soon to become the hipper thing these days, anyway.

When everyone zigs, it’s cooler to zag. 

Instead of living life so openly, secrecy will be in-in-in.  Would Garbo have a Facebook page? Never. And the smart ones won’t.

But don’t tell anyone about it yet. Let’s keep it secret so it will be even hipper. Top Secret. Like the NSA surveillance actions.

Just think of all the stylish changes that will occur. We will all have to meet in person, running around in trench coats, the new look. Fedoras too? Maybe even self-destructing cell phones like in “Mission Impossible.”

The trend toward secrecy is already going strong. How many passwords do you have? And all those e-mail aliases? All that on-line secrecy stuff means we are all  being prepped for a life of duplicity–in real life.

Now we have to think about protecting ourselves–from the government.

The government already knows a lot about me. But I guess that isn’t enough.

Maybe this is really a ploy to keep foreigners from wanting to immigrate here. Seems extreme. But so did government’s wholesale surveillance of Americans’ communications records.

Here’s what the U.S. is telling all those potential immigrants—it was as clear as a text  message from Verizon Wireless:

Dear Visa Applicant:

Stay home. Yankee Freedom? It’s an illusion.

You won’t really  have the freedom here that you think you’ll have.

Have faith in the Third World. We’ll send our American fast-food and products  over to you, because you are a market for our companies. But you folks coming here? For what? Freedom?  Don’t believe everything you read in Captain America comic books. (We’ve seen his phone records, by-the-way). Honestly, you may have all the freedom you really need right where you are.

It’s all relative.

Do you really want to give up all the great things you have in (insert Third-World country here)?

Signed, your friends at Not-Your-Homeland-Security


You can read my thoughts on Snowden, the LEAKER (I guess he’s more leaker than whistleblower, but let the AP Stylists debate that). The question really is has he done a service to all freedom loving Americans, or is he a traitor?

See my piece at 

One thing I know is my reaction to Snowden is markedly different than it was to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. In fact, my knee jerk reaction was to side with the GOVERNMENT. How dare we be so violated, right?

The idea of the leaks seemed intrusive. But as we found, those leaks were so broad and nebulous that there was still a lot of sifting to be done for some real nuggets. As a result,  I’m not sure if anything really came out of those leaks that really made an impact in my life.

And that’s the difference. Snowden’s leaks are a direct affront on American civil liberties. The NSA’s actions, while broad, touch me as a Verizon customer. I don’t have to wonder whether Gadhafi’s sexual escapades really matter. I know that in a broad collection of data, my digits are caught in the net.  That’s not the way it should work in America. Maybe all the young techies who live in full public view in social media don’t mind, but people who remember and value privacy, as well as those who value the freedoms given to us by the constitution, need to be heard from now.


White House pool report and President Obama’s remarks at the the East Room celebration marking the end of AAPI Heritage Month

From pool report today:

A lipstick-smeared president marked the end of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the East Room. He paid tribute to the contributions the AAPI community has made to the country, hailed the importance of immigration to America and called for lawmakers to find a way to fix today’s broken system. But before he could get to the tributes or the praise, he had to explain away the red smear on his right collar. After greeting the almost 300 in the audience with “Aloha,” he praised the warmth of their welcome. “A sign of the warmth,” he said, is “the lipstick on my collar.” He blamed the aunt of Jessica Sanchez. Sanchez, of Chula Vista, Calif., was the runner-up in the 11th season of American Idol. Making sure everybody could see the offending mark, the president pivoted, pointed to it and said, “Look at this.” He added, “I do not want to be in trouble with Michelle, so I am calling you out.”

Continue reading White House pool report and President Obama’s remarks at the the East Room celebration marking the end of AAPI Heritage Month