A Real Liberal Nominee

Credit where credit is due – this is a solid liberal appointment and a noted constitutional scholar — things that paint a target on his back to the anti-intellectual right wing. Liu isn’t a “safe” choice, so I have to assume Obama’s prepared to go to the mat for him, since the usual suspects are already smearing him:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Thirteen months into his presidency, Barack Obama finally gave liberal supporters the kind of judicial nominee they had sought and conservatives feared.

Goodwin Liu, 39, is an unabashed liberal legal scholar who, if confirmed, could become a force on the federal appeals court for decades. There’s talk that in time, the Rhodes Scholar, former high court clerk and current assistant dean and law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, could be the first person of Asian descent chosen for the Supreme Court.

“I can easily imagine him” as a high court nominee, said Erwin Chemerinsky, a Liu supporter and dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine.

Obama’s choice of Liu for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco drew quick and vociferous criticism from conservatives. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, described Liu as “far outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence.”

For the first time, Obama seemed to be taking a page from the playbook of recent Republican presidents who nominated conservatives in their 30s and 40s with the expectation they would have enduring influence in setting policy on the federal bench.

6 thoughts on “A Real Liberal Nominee

  1. Oh, come on, Susie. Obama is tantalizing and entertaining us with his game of “Where’s Waldo” (substitute nominee of your choice for Waldo: Dawn, Goodwin, et al.).

  2. The 4th District appeals court, the most conservative in the country, has enough vacancies to turn it into a decent appeals court. We are waiting for Obama.

  3. That’s a frustrating piece of lazy journalism from Associated Press, wherein writer Mark Sherman tells us four times that Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s latest judicial nominee, is “liberal”, even an “unabashed liberal”. But there’s no clue anywhere in the article about why AP says Liu is a liberal.

    From a quick glance at his webpage at U-Cal Berkeley, Liu seems qualified and he’s a member of a few groups that do good work and lordy, I hope he’s a liberal. But neither my hoping it’s true or AP’s saying it’s true makes it true. You can label him anything, label him barbecue sauce, but I ain’t going to believe he’s liberal or barbecue sauce until I see what’s in him.

  4. He’s very active in the Constitution Society, which is the liberal counterpart of the right-wing Federalist Society that spawned Roberts et al. He is indeed a “real” liberal.

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