Although bipartisan calls resound in favor of confirming the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the federal appeals court bench, reports suggest Senate Republicans are in lock-step with the Party’s far-right base, which has demanded defeat of the nomination.
In a piece for Politico, University of Minnesota law professor Richard Painter, the former White House Chief Ethics Lawyer for President George W. Bush, urges confirmation of Liu’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which was made by President Obama more than a year ago.
Liu is well suited for the bench. He is a highly regarded constitutional law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. His nomination is supported by Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, Goldwater Institute lawyer Clint Bolick and other leading conservatives — as well as by moderates and liberals.
Most important, Liu has demonstrated in both scholarly writings and in extensive Senate testimony that he knows the difference between making law — the job of elected officials — and interpreting law — which is the job of a judge.
California Senator Barbara Boxer said yesterday from the Senate floor that a vote on the nomination was "long overdue."
In the face of more than 12 months of attacks, misrepresentations and unfounded distortions of his record, Professor Liu has shown courage, character and dignity.
I was pleased when President Obama nominated Goodwin Liu to serve on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is considered one of the brightest legal scholars in the country. He is a respected authority on constitutional law. At UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law – where he is an associate dean and professor – he is widely admired both for his writings and his devotion to his students.
In a May 19 editorial, the Los Angeles Times concludes Liu’s nomination has “unfairly languished for more than a year.”
The editorial continues:
Republicans — and Democrats — inclined to oppose Liu's nomination are free to vote against it. But they would do an injustice to Liu and the Senate by refusing to allow his nomination to come to a vote. The Senate should make such a vote possible — and then approve Liu.
ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson decried the Senate’s obstruction of judicial nominations, noting that vacancies on the federal bench are at nearly 100. “For too long,” Fredrickson said, “some senators have chosen meritless obstruction of some judicial nominees over a fully functioning court system.”
For more updates on the rising number of vacancies on the federal bench and status of judicial nominations see JudicialNomninations.org.