Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture motion, on the nomination of Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (west coast). Here’s what Senator Reid had to say about Liu (bolding added by me for emphasis):
Goodwin Liu is an extremely well-qualified public servant and an impressive legal scholar. He was a Rhodes Scholar and clerked in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is something just a small percentage of graduates from law school have the opportunity to ever do; that is, to be a Supreme Court clerk. Goodwin Liu served as an associate dean at the California Berkeley School of Law and is still a professor there. He has done a significant amount of probono work. He even helped launch AmeriCorps. On top of that, he has lived the American dream. He is a highly successful son of immigrants.
I think President Obama was wise to appoint him to the Ninth Circuit. So do a lot of Democrats and so do a lot of Republicans.
Ken Starr–infamous as far as the Democrats go, the former White House special prosecutor–called Liu, who served in the Clinton administration, “a person of great intellect, accomplishment, and integrity.”
Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, an extremely conservative former Federal prosecutor, also reviewed Liu’s writings. He came away impressed with, as he said, “his commitment to the Constitution and to a fair criminal justice system.”
One of President Bush’s former White House lawyers said Liu’s views “fall well within the legal mainstream.”
I could go on with more quotes from lawyers and legislators from the right and left and Independents, but we get the picture. Right, left, center–they think very highly of this good man.
Everyone agrees Goodwin Liu’s nomination is far from the “extraordinary circumstance” that would warrant a filibuster. The only extraordinary things about Liu are his experience, his accomplishments, and his integrity.
He should be confirmed. At the very least, he should undoubtedly deserve an up-or-down vote.
I couldn’t agree more; there is absolutely no reason not to confirm Goodwin Liu overwhelmingly and immediately. At the minimum, the Senate should allow an up-or-down vote on Liu and not filibuster the nomination. On that point, at least, I agree with Jim Webb, although I strongly disagree with Webb’s complaints about Liu (although Webb’s position is not surprising, given his past writings about affirmative action). I’d also refer you to the Sacramento Bee’s editorial urging confirmation of Liu, and warning that Republicans risk alienating Asian-American voters, just as they’ve done with African-American and Latino-American voters, if they filibuster this superbly qualified Taiwanese American jurist. Of course, that’s never stopped them before, and I doubt it will stop them now, but you can always hope…
The bottom line is this: Liu is exceptionally well qualified to be a federal appellate judge, and he clearly deserves an up-or down vote in the Senate. I strongly encourage you to contact your Senator and let them know how you feel.