'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
Date Written: March 9, 2013
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: Suggested Citation