ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE URGES SWIFT CONFIRMATION OF GOODWIN LIU TO NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS AND CONDEMNS DISTORTIONS OF HIS RECORD
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2011– In the wake of today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu for a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Alliance for Justice urged the committee to approve Liu’s nomination and send it to the full Senate for prompt final approval.
Liu is one of 18 judicial nominees who were denied a final vote by the Senate in the last Congress due to Republican tactics of obstruction and delay. When confirmed, Liu will serve in a federal circuit that is severely understaffed, with three empty appeals-court seats, all of which are deemed “judicial emergencies” by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Any delay in his confirmation will further exacerbate the ever-deepening crisis in the federal courts, especially in the Western states that comprise the Ninth Circuit, where there are also nine vacant district court judgeships.
Today’s hearing is the second time in the last 11 months that Professor Liu has been reviewed by the committee. At both hearings, Republican senators posed questions that mischaracterize his record and judicial philosophy. In spite of widespread and bipartisan praise for his unmatched qualifications, astute legal mind, fair-minded approach to the law, and compelling personal story, Liu has faced Senate opposition that is often rooted in misinformation and outright distortion.
For example, in today’s hearing, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) charged, contrary to Liu’s record, that Liu would aggressively use foreign law in his decisions. As he did in his hearing last April, Liu refuted Sessions’ claims, again reiterating his long-held view that foreign law has no legal authority in the interpretation of American law, including the U.S. Constitution, unless a U.S. law so provides.
AFJ President Nan Aron, in calling for Goodwin Liu’s immediate confirmation, said, “The attacks on Professor Liu are nothing but distorted caricatures of a man who is praised by people of all ideological stripes as being brilliant, respectful of the law, non-dogmatic, and well within the legal mainstream. A year is too long to wait to confirm a nominee as qualified and respected as he is. The Senate should end the destructive stalemate that has delayed his and dozens of other confirmations and bring this nomination to a vote immediately. Liu’s elevation to the bench would not only help mitigate the crisis of our understaffed courts and contribute to the diversity of the federal bench, it would ensure that the American people will be served by one of the finest legal minds of his generation.”
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Alliance for Justice maintains up-to-date statistics on judicial nominations, which can be downloaded here. Additional information about AFJ’s Judicial Selection Project can be found at www.afj.org/judcial-selection.
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing justice and democracy. For more than 30 years, AFJ has led the fight for a more equitable society on behalf of a broad constituency of environmental, consumer, civil and women's rights, children's, senior citizens' and other groups. Alliance for Justice is premised on the belief that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have our voices heard when government makes decisions that affect our lives.