Filipino American Democrats Urge Re-Election of Justice Doris Ling-Cohan

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016


Doris Ling-Cohan

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Leaders of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York (FADCNY) called on the Democratic Judicial Delegates of New York County to nominate and elect The Honorable Justice Doris Ling-Cohan from the floor of today’s Judicial Convention, citing her qualifications, jurisprudence, and record as a prominent historical figure and pioneer in the Asian American and LGBT community.

“I have had the privilege of working closely with The Honorable Justice Ling-Cohan in the past few weeks as members of our club educated New York Democratic leaders and delegates about her qualifications and candidacy, as well as the disappointingly flawed outcome of her judicial screening panel” said Aries Dela Cruz, FADCNY president. “I asked Justice Ling-Cohan why she remains so committed to public service and so committed to being a judge again despite being embattled and maligned in the tabloid press. She told me that when she graduated from NYU, one of the top law schools in the world, she simply could not dream of doing anything else with her law degree other than serving the public. I truly believe she deserves our full support, and that she should have the opportunity to be re-elected and to serve New York as a judge again.”

On September 10, 2016 at the West Harlem Democratic Club Awards Dinner, Dela Cruz delivered an award acceptance speech in front of many Judicial Delegates, party officials, and judges including Justice Doris Ling-Cohan, which Dela Cruz used to implore and lobby the delegates to ensure that they keep the Asian American community in mind during the Judicial Convention.

“Justice Ling-Cohan is an important figure in the Asian Pacific American community. She is currently the only female judge of Asian descent on a New York State appellate level court.” said Eve Guillergan, a New York immigration attorney who is a member of the Filipino American Democratic Club of New York, and a key figure in the campaign to re-elect Justice Doris Ling-Cohan. “Asians are under-represented in the judiciary in comparison to their numbers in the population. There is a great need for more diversity in New York State. This situation continues to be an outrage as a majority of the panelists have signed a letter saying the justice merits continuation in office. It is clear that the process was flawed and influenced by those with their own special interests. I am hopeful that the judicial delegates will correct the situation and nominate her tonight in light of her honor’s excellent record as a jurist.”

In 2002, The Honorable Justice Doris Ling-Cohan became the first woman of Asian descent to be elected to the New York State Supreme Court. She was the first judge in New York to issue a groundbreaking ruling finding the same-sex couples had a right to marry in the 2005 case Hernandez v. Robles, a ruling that was overturned on appeal in 2006 but later vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor in 2013.

This year, Justice Ling-Cohan did not make it out of the Independent Judicial Screening Panel that is convened as part of the selection process to choose judges to be ratified by the Judicial Convention for the New York County Democratic ballot line, which is a very rare and significant occurence for judicial incumbents. The rules of the panel were not followed, and panelists with conflicts of interest were on the panel and did not disclose their conflicts. Leaks intended to malign Justice Ling-Cohan’s character were subseqently published in the tabloid media. However, 15 members of the 22 member judicial screening panel later affirmed in a letter that “Judge Ling-Cohan merits continuation in office.”

Filipino American Democrats are urge the Judicial Delegates, District Leaders and Elected Officials at the Judicial Convention on September 22 to take the new finding of the members of Independent Judicial Screening Panel into strong consideration and to nominate and support The Honorable Justice Ling-Cohan for re-election. Supporters of Justice Doris Ling-Cohan will attend the New York County Democratic Judicial Convention on Thursday, September 22 beginning at 5:30 P.M. at Harlem Hospital’s Herbert G. Cave Auditorium at 506 Malcolm X Boulevard.

The Filipino American Democratic Club of New York is a political club that organizes and leads the Filipino American electorate in New York City and New York State. We are dedicated to advancing Filipino American and Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues and priorities among elected officials and candidates for public office.  

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