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OCA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RECESS APPOINTMENT FOR BILL LANN LEE
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May 4, 2000
For More Information:  Daphne Kwok 202-223-5500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  


OCA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RECESS APPOINTMENT FOR BILL LANN LEE 

Washington, D.C.  – On Saturday, April 29, the OCA National Board unanimously passed the following resolution in Denver, Colorado:  

WHEREAS   Bill Lann Lee originally was nominated by President Clinton to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice in July 1997, and named Acting Assistant Attorney General in December 1997, in which capacity he has since served; and 

WHEREAS   Mr. Lee has demonstrated exemplary service in the past three years in leading the nation’s top civil rights enforcement division, particularly in the areas of disability rights, housing discrimination, worker exploitation, hate crimes, racial profiling by law enforcement, and discrimination in consumer matters; and 

WHEREAS   Mr. Lee’s nomination process has been placed on hold for political reasons outside of his qualifications and fitness to carry out the duties with which he is charged; and 

WHEREAS   Mr. Lee deserved to have the full U.S. Senate vote on his nomination; and 

WHEREAS   The President of the United States has the prerogative to make recess appointments; and 

WHEREAS   The White House failed to remove "acting” from Mr. Lee’s title through a recess appointment during the January 2000 and April 2000 Senate recesses because U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) sent a letter to President Clinton stating that if he is to proceed with the recess appointment of Bill Lann Lee, he and other Republican senators would "respond by placing holds on all judicial confirmations for the remainder of your (President Clinton’s) term.  

WHEREAS   Mr. Lee’s recess appointment is being kept hostage by the threat of the Republican senators shutting down the judicial confirmation process; and 

WHEREAS   Mr. Lee’s appointment is supported by diverse constituents not only the Asian Pacific American community but also members of the African American, Latino, Native American, women, the disabled, the socioeconomically disadvantaged, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, and Americans of all backgrounds;   

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Organization of Chinese Americans has fully supported Mr. Lee and his appointment as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice since 1997; and 

FURTHER IT BE RESOLVED that the Organization of Chinese Americans demands that the White House give Bill Lann Lee a recess appointment during the next Senate recess to accord Mr. Lee’s full privileges and rights entitled to him as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. OCA National President George M. Ong stated, "We hope that President Clinton hears that the time is now and not later in his term for an immediate recess appointment.  May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and it would be the most appropriate time to place into history the first Asian Pacific American Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.”
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1322 18th St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
 
P: (202) 223-5500 | F: (202) 296-0540 | E: oca@ocanational.org