Alliance for Justice Says 400 Days of Obstruction Are Enough
Calls for Confirmation of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., May 17, 2011—After initially being nominated by President Obama for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in February 2010, and re-nominated twice more during a year of unremitting obstruction, Goodwin Liu finally awaits consideration by the full United States Senate this Thursday, May 19. His nomination, which is now over 400 days old, is expected to face vehement Republican opposition and will require a cloture vote to overcome a filibuster and proceed to final consideration.
One of the most brilliant legal minds of his generation, Liu is renowned as a legal scholar, award-winning teacher, dedicated public servant, and savvy lawyer. Liu’s views are well within the legal mainstream, and, as a consequence, he has widespread support from prominent individuals across the ideological spectrum. There is no valid justification for preventing a final vote on his nomination, a principle that should be particularly true for Senators who have expressed opposition to filibusters of judicial nominees in the past. Since the beginning of the Obama administration, the willful obstruction of judicial nominees by Republican Senators has become a national issue and threatens to undermine not only the efficient functioning of the federal court system, but also the traditions of the U. S. Senate.
The caricatures of Liu’s record offered by some Republicans are unfair and distorted, and are rooted not in the belief that he is unqualified or overtly ideological, but in the fear that because of his intellect, personal warmth, relative youth, and persuasive scholarship he may at some point in his career be on a trajectory for advancement. As Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron said, “The problem Republicans have with Goodwin Liu isn’t that he’s not good enough to be a judge, it’s that he’s too good. The circuit courts require judges who are the best of the best, and thoughtful, fair-minded people seeking a strong, open-minded, and constitutionally faithful judiciary should be eager to have Goodwin Liu on the federal bench.”
Liu’s testimony (twice) before the Senate Judiciary Committee and his personal and professional record demonstrate that:
Goodwin Liu is extremely well qualified to be a circuit court judge.
Goodwin Liu is a mainstream nominee with strong support from across the ideological spectrum, including Republican lawyers and academics.
Goodwin Liu’s story exemplifies the American Dream.
Goodwin Liu’s record has been grossly and unfairly distorted for partisan political purposes.
In attempts to discredit his nomination, critics have peddled misinformation, saying Liu opposes the death penalty and gun rights, and supports mandated welfare and racial quotas. These charges are absolutely false, as his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee clearly shows. Among his statements under oath are:
Goodwin Liu is one of the most intellectually, professionally, and temperamentally well-qualified nominees to the federal courts in recent history. After over a year waiting for consideration of his nomination, he deserves to receive a final yes-or-no vote on May 19. Alliance for Justice urges fair-minded Senators to protect the integrity of the judicial system and the traditions of the Senate by voting against a filibuster of Goodwin Liu’s nomination, and then to confirm him to a seat on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where, without question, he will serve the interests of justice with distinction.
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A report (PDF) describing the personal, professional, and legal record of Goodwin Liu is available at: http://www.afj.org/ztest/check-the-facts/nominees/goodwin-liu-report-final.pdf.
General information about judicial nominations, including a continually updated snapshot of the nomination process in the current Congress, can be found at: http://www.afj.org/judicial-selection/.
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C. Additional information can be found at www.afj.org.