When she was first appointed to a judgeship in the municipal court in Corpus Christi, Young Min Burkett failed to share a piece of vital information that might have been an impediment to her hiring. The problem is not that she lacks the educational credentials or shows partialilty. Burkett graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2005 and passed the bar in 2007. Her performance on the bench, moreover, has been assessed as above standard by presiding Judge Gail Loeb.
Nope, the problem is that Burkett is not a U.S. citizen. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that the oversight resulted from the lack of a question about citizenship on the application for a judgeship. The form asked merely whether the applicant was eligible for legal employment in the state.
“The job posting specified only the ability to work in the U.S.,” her husband, Nathan Burkett, is quoted as saying. “She has never made a representation that she is a citizen.”
Burkett, a native of South Korea, has been placed on unpaid leave from her $97,935-a-year job until she obtains citizenship, Mayor Pro-Tem Lucy Rubio announced on Tuesday. In the meantime, city attorneys have determined that past rulings handed down by Burkett are not invalidated by her status.
Interestingly, attorneys in Texas are not required to be U.S. citizens, according to the Texas Board of Law Examiners.