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Photo: Century-old photo of Hong Yen Chang

"This is a historic moment for all Chinese Americans in California because a terrible wrong has been righted today by the California Supreme Court," said Rachelle Chong, a California lawyer and a grandniece of Hong Yen Chang (Photo courtesy of the Ah Tye family)

Righting ‘a terrible wrong’

More than a century after Hong Yen Chang was denied a license to practice law in California on the basis of laws that discriminated against Chinese immigrants, the Supreme Court of California has granted him posthumous admission to the bar, thanks to the efforts of UC Davis School of Law students.

Students in the law school's Asian Pacific American Law Students Association petitioned the court last year on behalf of Chang, pointing out that the laws that prevented him from practicing as an attorney have been discredited and repealed and asking the court to "right this historic wrong."

In a March 16 opinion that includes "a candid reckoning with a sordid chapter of our state and national history," the court granted Chang posthumous admission as an attorney and counselor in all California courts.

[more about the legal decision …]

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