'A Chinaman's Chance' in Court: Asian Pacific Americans and Racial Rules of Evidence

3 UC Irvine Law Review 966 (2013)

26 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018

See all articles by Gabriel Jackson Chin

Gabriel Jackson Chin

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: March 9, 2013

Abstract

By common law and statute, the law of evidence discriminated against Asians in various ways. Part I of this article addresses the special treatment of Asians as witnesses in immigration and other cases. State and federal courts and legislatures treated Asian testimony as less credible, or made it incompetent entirely. Part II addresses legal presumptions about the citizenship of Asians. State and federal courts required persons of Asian racial ancestry, and only them, to prove that they were citizens in the context of statutes imposing restrictions on Asians. The law thus used negative attitudes about Asian Americans to disadvantage them in concrete ways. Not only were their substantive rights diminished, but also their ability to protect the rights they retained under law was made more challenging.

Keywords: witnesses, evidence, Chinese, immigration, discrimination, constitutional law

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Chin, Gabriel Jackson, 'A Chinaman's Chance' in Court: Asian Pacific Americans and Racial Rules of Evidence (March 9, 2013). 3 UC Irvine Law Review 966 (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3137153

Gabriel Jackson Chin (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
400 Mrak Hall Dr.
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
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