Minority Political Success Stories:

Here's the question for today: Who are now the highest-ranked, and who have been the highest-ranked

  1. Atheist or Agnostic, expressly self-described (it's not enough that the person have no known religious sensibilities; he has to have openly described himself as such, much as people of other religious groups often openly describe themselves as such)
  2. Baha'i
  3. Buddhists
  4. Hindus
  5. Muslims
  6. Sikhs
  7. Armenian-Americans
  8. Filipino-Americans
  9. Georgian-Americans (and I don't mean of the Jimmy Carter variety)
  10. Iranian-Americans
  11. Korean-Americans
  12. Thai-Americans
  13. and
  14. Vietnamese-Americans
in U.S. government positions, federal or state, appointed or elected. For our purposes, though, let's say that the rank of an office is generally inversely proportional to the number of people who hold that sort of office, so the President (1) beats U.S. Supreme Court Justices (9) who beat Cabinet officials (15) who beat Governors (50) who beat U.S. Senators (100) who beat state Supreme Court Justices (roughly 350, I think) who beat U.S. Representatives (435) and so on. On the other hand, I reserve the right to downgrade un-influential offices — there are fewer state Secretaries of State than state Supreme Court Justices, but I say the latter beat the former, and I'll brook no argument on that. Also, the list above was chosen rather arbitrarily (though one guiding principle was that I tried to choose relatively tough ones; Greek Orthodox and Mormons, for instance, are pretty easy).

I give a few answers that I think I know below; please post your own answers in Comments. (I won't alter my original answers, so please note that a commenter may have bettered them.) Each answer should (1) include the person's name and position, (2) in cases where there might be any controversy, proof, preferably a link to a site that confirms this, and (3) say whether he's the current highest or the all-time highest. Also, please check all previous comments, as well as my answers, to make sure that yours (4) isn't a duplicate (make sure to check my answers, hidden below, to see if yours duplicate them), and (5) hasn't been trumped by a clearly higher-ranked official that has already been named. More broadly, (6) please read the question and the rules carefully, and (7) please don't post arguments about why the rules are sound or unsound or how they should be amended.

UPDATE: A reader asks why I lump together atheists and agnostics. In theory, the two may be quite different, but my sense is that in practice people have such different definitions of the terms that "I am an agnostic" and "I am an atheist" don't really reliably distinguish the two.

FURTHER UPDATE: I'd like the comments to be a good and readable source of answers for readers, so I've deleted some comments that were erroneous, duplicative, nonresponsive, and the like. Don't take it personally . . . .