A long-standing involvement with an entity that caters exclusively to Asian-Americans has led to a complaint being filed against California Supreme Court Associate Justice Ming W. Chin.
The ethics complaint filed with the California Commission on Judicial Performance alleges that Chin's involvement with the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment (“CAUSE”) is prohibited because of CAUSE's invidious discrimination against those individuals who are non Asian-American.
Mr Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Ming, not a stranger to The Leslie Brodie report, partook in the (Photo:courtesy)
The complaint further alleges that Chin must be disciplined because of CAUSE’s involvement in the political process – conduct that Chin is otherwise prohibited from engaging in pursuant to Canon 5 – and because Chin intentionally hid his involvement with CAUSE from the public. See copy of complaint HERE.
Subsequent to the filing of the complaint, CAUSE quickly removed Justice Chin’s name from its rolls for 2011 and 2010, retroactively. See CAUSE 2010 roll. In contrast, see TLR's own records, which clearly show that Justice Chin was a member of CAUSE’s Advisory Council in 2010.
According to individuals familiar with the matter who requested anonymity, Victor King, CAUSE's legal counsel, has been advised of the situation. As a service to the community, we publish below the letter sent to Mr. King informing him of the pertinent facts:
Dear Mr King:
A few weeks ago, I filed a complaint with the California Commission on Judicial Performance against California Supreme Court Associate Justice Hon. Ming W. Chin. The basis of the complaint was his involvement with the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment ("CAUSE"), an entity for which you serve as legal counsel.
Prior to filing the complaint, I visited CAUSE's web-site on multiple occasions and observed that Justice Chin's name appeared under the heading of Honorary Advisory Counsel. Recently, however, while viewing CAUSE's website, I noticed that Justice Chin's name has been removed from the list for the years of 2010 and 2011.
If, as I am assuming, subsequent to the my filing of the complaint Justice Chin decided to part ways with CAUSE, which resulted in the removal of his name from the roll for 2011, this would constitute, at least to me, an accurate statement of facts regarding his involvement with CAUSE, technically speaking.
However, the retroactive removal of Justice Chin's name for 2010 is misleading as it is factually incorrect. Additionally, it hurts and diminishes the credibility of CAUSE and Justice Chin, as well as creating the impression that the complaint I filed lacks factual basis.
In addition, this action hurts the fair administration of justice by the California Supreme Court as parties who appear (or appeared) before the Court may wish to rely on Justice Chin's involvement with CAUSE for disqualification purposes.
My assumption is that Justice Chin's name was removed from the 2010 roll as a result of a technical error. As such, I ask that you take the appropriate actions which would result in honest and accurate information being conveyed to individuals who visit CAUSE's web-site concerning Justice Chin's past and present involvement with the organization.
Also, it would be helpful if you could confirm to me whether I am correct in my assumption that CAUSE and Justice Chin are no longer associated with each other, and the exact dates Justice Chin was associated with CAUSE.
Please note that I possess undeniable proof to support the complaint filed against Justice Chin. If CAUSE chooses not to take the requested corrective action within 10 days, I shall explore taking action consistent with and authorized by law.