July 13, 2023

SCOTUS Decisions and the Future of the AAPI Caucus

As Pride Month came to an end, we continued to celebrate, but also braced ourselves for the expected rulings from the Supreme Court. As many of us expected, the rulings were what we feared:

  • The use of affirmative action in college admissions was deemed unlawful.
  • It is now acceptable for business owners to refuse services to individuals based on sexual orientation.
  • President Biden’s plan to erase more than $400 billion in student debt was rejected.

These were all significant blows and will have lasting implications for America. All of these rulings were a clear reminder of why it is so important to vote and elect Democrats. As a result of Republican control of Congress and the White House, we are left with a conservative Supreme Court that will continue to make rulings that will take away more rights from U.S. citizens and lead to more intolerance and discrimination. The AAPI Caucus has released a statement with the Global Hispanic Caucus and Global Black Caucus specifically about the affirmative action ruling and implores colleges and universities to continue to reach out to communities of color and develop ways to maintain and expand the progress that has been made in admitting and graduating diverse student bodies.

Looking towards the second half of the year, the Steering Committee wants to let you know how we will be moving forward. Personally, I have just started a new, full-time job, which I expect to take up a lot of my time, and other members of the committee are also working full-time jobs and juggling multiple responsibilities. Over the past year, we have also noticed a reduction in online event attendance as we have moved back to in-person events, which we can all understand (it’s so nice seeing people in person!). 

Therefore, we have decided to focus our attention on organizing two major events a year. We will also continue to provide assistance to countries and chapters that want to host AAPI-related events. Of course, we are always happy to have new volunteers join. If you are interested in getting more involved, organizing an event (either locally or globally), or have ideas, please get in touch! We are a small team that is happy to grow and find a way to work with any volunteer, regardless of how much time you can give. Just email [email protected].

Last, but not least, if you vote in one of the few states with an election in 2023, make sure you request your ballot today from VoteFromAbroad.org. Ohio has an important election coming up on August 8th and we need all Ohio voters to participate! Get your ballot requests submitted today! 

Democratically yours,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus

News of Note

Newly Elected Leaders

We want to extend our congratulations to Cory Lemke, AAPI Caucus Vice Chair, who was just elected as the new DNC Representative for Democrats Abroad for the Asia Pacific Region and Karen Frankenstein, AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member, who will be our new International Secretary. In addition, Suma Shamanna, former member of the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee, was elected as Regional Vice Chair for the Asia Pacific Region. We are so excited and proud of our members for taking on such important roles in our organization!

Pride Month Recap

Recommended Reading

  • Podcast Throughline on Affirmative Action
    Prior to the ruling on affirmative action, NPR’s podcast Throughline released an episode with journalist Jay Caspian Kang. It includes a review of the history of affirmative action and also leaves you to think about how the higher education system can be improved.

  • The Asian-American Canon Breakers By Hua Hsu
    The New Yorker recently republished this article from Hua Hsu about the development of Asian American literature in the United States.