San Francisco Judge Edward Chen was finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the federal district bench in California after a protracted delay over his civil liberties record and controversial statements he made in a speech. The final vote was 56-42 with just a few Republicans crossing the aisle. A speech Chen gave in 2005, in which he expressed some ambivalence about his patriotism as a Japanese-American, was cited by some GOP members as the reason for their opposition. Senator Jeff Session from Alabama said that Chen displayed an “ACLU chromosome”.
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