For immediate release:
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom Statement on Judge Ashley Tabaddor
Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) joins the growing chorus of fellow minority bar associations who are outraged and deeply concerned by the facts underlying a lawsuit recently filed by the Honorable Ashley Tabaddor, an Iranian American Immigration judge, against the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ issued an order disqualifying Judge Tabaddor from cases involving Iranian nationals given her activities within the Iranian-American community. Judge Tabaddor alleges that the disqualification order violates Title VII and her First Amendment rights. Notably, other immigration judges active in their ethnic and religious communities have not been subject to similar, blanket recusal orders.
Just as we stood against the calls for the recusal of the Honorable Judge Vaughan Walker in the Prop 8 case based on his sexual orientation, BALIF strongly objects to any efforts to recuse judges based on their immutable characteristics, such as their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation. BALIF is particularly concerned that the DOJ, which is charged with enforcing civil rights laws in this country, issued the recusal order. A copy of the lawsuit, Tabaddor v. Holder et al., which is filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, can be accessed here.
BALIF is the nation’s oldest and largest bar association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in the field of law. Founded in 1980, BALIF represents its members’ interests in the wider San Francisco Bay Area. BALIF members and supporters include San Francisco Bay Area judges, lawyers, law students and legal workers.