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Goodwin Liu is Unfit for a Lifetime Appointment to Federal Judiciary

By March 2, 2011Legal
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Goodwin Liu is Unfit for a Lifetime Appointment to Federal Judiciary

RE: Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Unlike other judicial nominees, there has been no announcement of bi-partisan support for this nomination of President Obama and last year the full Senate failed to even consider his nomination after he only received a partisan vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Goodwin Liu is unfit for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench because his statements and record demonstrate an extreme liberal agenda of judicial activism that he would impose from the bench.

ACTION: The nomination of Goodwin Liu is one of those rare instances constituting “extraordinary circumstances” where the U. S. Senate should reject this nominee as unsuitable for a lifetime appointment. “Extraordinary circumstances” is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan “Gang of 14” U.S. Senators in 2005 for opposing judicial nominations.

ISSUE-IN-BRIEF: Mr. Liu has repeatedly shown a lack of respect for the Constitution as the Supreme law of the land:

Mr. Liu holds a radical view of constitutional rights. For example, in his 2008 Stanford Law Review article he supports a judicial role in establishing constitutional welfare rights-i.e., “affirmative rights,” to education, shelter, subsistence, health care and the like, or to the money these things cost. This is the view of rights President Obama raised that caused a stir, and which Judge Sotomayor rejected when asked if she took such a view during her confirmation hearing. In a 2006 article entitled “Education, Equality, and National Citizenship”, Liu suggests that the Constitution “assigns equal constitutional status to negative rights against government oppression and positive rights to government assistance on the ground that both are essential to liberty. Mr. Liu has stated: “it becomes pretty clear why ‘originalism’ or ‘strict construction’ don’t make a lot of sense. The Framers deliberately chose broad words so they would be adaptable over time. Mr. Liu recklessly attacked the nominations of Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito. In the case of Roberts, he wrote, in an op-ed, that “[h]is legal career is studded with activities unfriendly to civil rights, abortion rights, and the environment.” These unfounded charges were dismissed by judicial experts on both sides of the aisle and Roberts was confirmed with bi-partisan support. Mr. Liu actually testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the confirmation of Alito. Liu testified that then-Judge Alito was “at the margin, not the mainstream,” and that the America envisioned by his record on the bench “is not the America we know. Nor is it the America we aspire to be.” Alito was also confirmed with bi-partisan support. In a 2008 Stanford Law Review article, Mr. Liu wrote that judges should engage in “socially situated modes of reasoning that appeal … to the culturally and historically contingent meanings of particular social goods in our own society” and to “determine, at the moment of decision, whether our collective values on a given issue have converged to a degree that they can be persuasively crystallized and credibly absorbed into legal doctrine.” According to a Washington Times editorial: “Mr. Liu’s goal was to create a judicially enforceable, constitutional right to welfare. It has been noted that Mr. Liu doesn’t meet the standards for federal judges outlined by the American Bar Association. These standards include “at least 12 years’ experience in the practice of law” and “substantial courtroom and trial experience.” Mr. Liu, who is only 39 years old, hasn’t even been out of law school for 12 years and has no experience as a trial lawyer. 42 of California’s 58 county district attorneys opposed Liu’s nomination in a March 2010 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying they believe Liu is hostile to the death penalty. Mr. Liu implies racial quotas should continue indefinitely and in remarks before the American Constitution Society in August of 2003 advocates reviving “the idea of remedying societal discrimination as a justification for affirmative action. Mr. Liu offered an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court in which he and others argued that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage (approved twice by the voters of California) was unconstitutional.


Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General

Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America

Mathew D. Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel

Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring

Gary Marx, Executive Director, Judicial Crisis Network

William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government

David N. Bossie, President, Citizens United

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council

Kristan Hawkins, Executive Director, Students for Life of America

James Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union

Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness

Gary Bauer, President, American Values

Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union

Suhail Khan, President, Conservative Inclusion Coalition

Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition

Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator

Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus, Boston University

Ron Robinson, President, Young America’s Foundation

T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr., former Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General

Marion Edwyn Harrison, Past President, Free Congress Foundation

David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana

Richard Viguerie, Chairman,

Rev. Lou Sheldon, President, Traditional Values Coalition

Howard Phillips, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus

Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center

Becky Norton Dunlop, Deputy Assistant to Ronald Reagan for Presidential Personnel

(All Names for Identification purposes only)



Ninth Circuit Nominee Goodwin Liu

The ABA and Ninth Circuit Nominee Goodwin Liu


The ABA and Ninth Circuit Nominee Goodwin Liu

Ninth Circuit Nominee Goodwin Liu on Constitutional Welfare Rights-Part 1

Goodwin Liu on Constitutional Welfare Rights-Part 2

Goodwin Liu on a Federal Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage

Goodwin Liu on the Death Penalty

Goodwin Liu’s Keeping Faith with the Constitution -Part 1

Goodwin Liu’s Keeping Faith with the Constitution -Part 2

Goodwin Liu’s Cheap Attack on the Roberts Nomination

Mistaken Defenses of Goodwin Liu

Goodwin Liu: Too Left-Wing for Rahm Emanuel

Goodwin Liu on School Choice in Support of Racial Quotas