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Please grant posthumous admission to Hong Yen Chang, a Chinese lawyer who was denied admission in 1890 because of the Chinese Exclusion Act

This petition had 3,143 supporters


BACKGROUND ON HONG YEN CHANG

Hong Yen Chang was reportedly the first Chinese immigrant licensed to practice law in the United States. He attended Yale University and later, Columbia Law School. Though admitted to practice law in New York, he was denied admission to the California State Bar in 1890 due to the Chinese Exclusion Act.

THE CHINESE EXCLUSION ACT

The Chinese Exclusion Act was a racist law that was repealed in 1943. At that time, the federal Chinese Exclusion Act banned Chinese immigrants from naturalizing as citizens, and a California law prohibited noncitizens from practicing law in the state. Taken together, these laws made it impossible for people of Chinese descent to earn law licenses in the state. Chang petitioned the California Supreme Court, but was denied admission. 

On June 18, 2012, the United States Congress passed a resolution formally expressing their regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act.

WHY SHOULD HONG YEN CHANG BE POSTHUMOUSLY ADMITTED TO THE CALIFORNIA BAR?

Anyone who is discriminated against or who suffers a legal wrong is entitled to a remedy.

Hong Yen Chang's admission to the California bar would remedy the injustice that he suffered, serve as a symbol of our state's repudiation of laws that singled out Chinese immigrants for discrimination, and send a powerful message about the legal profession’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HONG YEN CHANG PROJECT

 



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