Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) totally lost it during Thursday’s hearing on “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary” and started screaming at a liberal attorney over his mention of a Harvard discrimination case concerning Asian Americans.
The Harvard case involves alleged discrimination against Asian Americans in their admissions process. Peter Kirsanow, who is ironically a labor attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, brought up the case while testifying during the hearing. The very mention of the case caused Lieu to explode and accuse Kirsanow of deflecting from the topic that was the basis for the hearing.
“I agree with you entirely, that if there is discrimination it’s against Asian-Americans,” Kirsanow stated. “In fact just yesterday, or the day before yesterday I filed a brief in the Students for Fair Admissions Harvard case in the Supreme Court,” he said.
“Stop bringing in irrelevant issues,” Lieu inexplicably yelled at Kirsanow. “There are more Asian Americans at these Ivy Leagues. In the federal judiciary, they’re underrepresented. These are different issues happening, so just answer my question about Asian Americans in the federal judiciary or minorities in the federal judiciary, because it is underrepresented.” The yelling was loud enough to create feedback.
Explosive exchange: @tedlieu yells at Peter Kirsanow when he mentions that one of the foremost examples of anti-Asian discrimination right now is at Harvard. This was during a hearing about the need for diversity on the federal courts. pic.twitter.com/q5cDrvSVmL
— Nic Rowan (@NicXTempore) March 25, 2021
Lieu went on a rant where he accused Kirsanow of mentioning the Harvard case to avoid his questions about systemic racism that allegedly affects Asian American representation on the federal bench.
Kirsanow openly agreed with Lieu’s premise regarding the lack of Asian American judges in federal courts. “Underrepresented, definitely,” Kirsanow once again agreed. “But underrepresented based on the fact that there has been discrimination in the pipeline that we have been talking about. Profound discrimination against Asian Americans. Without question profound discrimination.”
“The perception by the public is we are making determinations on the basis of race — one of the most baleful and anathema considerations we have in the United States because of history. It’s precisely why I say that we must avoid, at all costs, the perception that decisions are being made on the basis of race. And when you look at the correlative, with how decision-making is being made through the admissions process, it appears as if decisions in large part are being based on race,” Kirsanow pointed out.
Lieu simply brushed off and dismissed Kirsanow’s argument. Instead, he quoted statistics from a 2019 report from the Center for American Progress that subjectively shows 73% of federal judges are white males.
“The reason that you can’t talk about the federal judiciary and you keep going to the college issue is because you know you have no basis on the issue of the federal judiciary,” Lieu said accusingly. “It just needs to be more diverse. It’s corrosive to America to have an entire third branch of government in which people were selected on the basis of them being white.”
It should be noted that the Trump administration had the Department of Justice investigate both Harvard and Yale for denying admission to Asian students. Instead, they allegedly accepted students of other minority groups who were less-qualified. The Biden administration has recently announced they are dropping the case against Yale.
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