Senate Republicans questioned a judicial candidate about a review she had earlier co-authored where she said that neoconservative Americans of Asian descent internalize the discourse of oppression. Magistrate Judge Kenly Kiya Kato was questioned by Republican senators about his view on racial discrimination.
The questions were asked even as the Senate Judiciary Committee of the Senate considered her recommendation by President Biden for California’s Central District.
Democrats praise Kenly Kiya Kato as an experienced lawyer whose appointment would be a boost to diversity on the bench. Senator Feinstein, California, said that Kenly Kiya Kato was an asset once confirmed as the first American woman of Japanese descent to serve as a Magistrate Judge in California.
Kenly Kiya Kato stated before the Senators that she entered law after hearing the treatment her parents were subjected to in internment sites along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans throughout the Second World War.
Kato said that these stories of first-hand experience convinced her at a young age of securing all-around constitutional rights.
Kenly Kiya Kato Was Asked On Issues Of Racial Discrimination
The discussion turned to his opinion on issues of affirmative action. In an article in 1995, Kenly Kiya Kato had mentioned that Asian-Americans believe in the power of the status quo and were critical of any activism in their group.
Kato answered that she did not recollect the exact point that was being conveyed at that point. But Senator Ted Cruz (Rep.-Texas) said that the review conveyed that to be considered sufficiently woke, Asian Americans must go along with policies that were discriminatory against them.
Senator Cruz noted that Harvard, Kenly Kiya Kato’s alma mater, had been hit with a suit for its discrimination against Asian Americans because of race. He asked if Kato was concerned at the practice.
Kenly Kiya Kato declined to comment on the issue and said that the issue was pending.
When asked by Ted Cruz if racial discrimination was wrong, Kato declined to answer directly. She said that the constitution prohibits discrimination based on race and as a judge she could not answer on issues that dealt with morality.