Let’s Not Forget Goodwin Liu

In the media blitzkrieg that has followed President Obama’s announcement on Monday of his nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, it’s important to remember that many nominations to the lower courts are also pending. Among those is the nomination of noted constitutional scholar and law professor Goodwin Liu to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Today, in a predictable party line vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee favorably voted out Professor Liu’s nomination, 12-7.

Surprising no one, Committee Republicans tried to portray Professor Liu as a judicial activist in the making, ignoring Professor Liu’s testimony in which he made it clear that he understands the role of a judge. Republicans will no doubt take the same erroneous charges to the Senate floor, where they will endeavor to delay and obstruct Professor Liu’s confirmation just as they have delayed and obstructed the confirmation of so many of President Obama’s other judicial nominees. They should not be allowed to do so; as we discussed in our letter to the Judiciary Committee in support of Professor Liu’s confirmation, Professor Liu is exceedingly well-qualified to serve on the Ninth Circuit, and he should be promptly confirmed.