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Calling all Californians: Send a letter of support for Goodwin Liu’s Nomination to the Supreme Court of California

Support Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the Supreme Court of California.  If you are a California resident, send a letter of support to the California Commission on Judicial Appointments using our online system here!


Goodwin Liu Nominated to the Supreme Court of California



SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. nominated Goodwin Liu, Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley Law School, to the state Supreme Court today.

Liu, 40, previously was nominated by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in San Francisco, but Liu withdrew his nomination two months ago after a Republican filibuster prevented senators from voting on his confirmation.

“Professor Liu is an extraordinary man and a distinguished legal scholar and teacher,” Brown said. “He is a nationally-recognized expert on constitutional law and has experience in private practice, government service and in the academic community. I know that he will be an outstanding addition to our state supreme court.”

Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty in 2003, Liu was an appellate litigator in the Washington, D.C. office of Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers. He previously clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and was special assistant to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.

Liu was born in Georgia to parents who had emigrated from Taiwan, and in 1977 he moved with his family to Sacramento, where he attended public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and a master’s from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Liu received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Yale Law School, where he was a member of the Yale Law Journal.

Two years ago he won the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for excellence in teaching. Liu currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and is former Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Constitution Society. He was elected to the American Law Institute and he is also on the boards of the National Women’s Law Center, the Public Welfare Foundation and the Alliance for Excellent Education. He and his wife, Ann O’Leary, have a daughter and a son.

In response to his selection, Liu said: “I’m deeply honored by Governor Brown’s nomination and look forward to the opportunity to serve the people of California on our state’s highest court.”

Although U.S. Senate Republicans blocked his appointment to the federal bench, his nomination was supported by noted legal conservatives, including former Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr; Richard Painter, who was legal counsel to President George W. Bush, and former Rep. Tom Campbell, now dean of Chapman University’s law school. Liu received a strong endorsement from the American Bar Association, and others supporting his nomination included the California Correctional Police Officers Association, the California Labor Federation, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the three most recent Presidents of Stanford University.

Brown has forwarded Liu’s name to the State Bar’s Commission of Judicial Nominees Evaluation. Following the Bar committee’s review, the Commission on Judicial Appointments, consisting of State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Justice Joan Dempsey Klein, senior presiding justice of the state Court of Appeal, will hold one or more public hearings to review Liu’s nomination. Although the bar committee’s recommendation is not binding, the Governor’s appointment will not become final until the Commission on Judicial Appointments confirms the nomination.

Liu will replace Associate Justice Carlos Moreno, who retired from the court earlier this year.

Goodwin Liu in his own Words

Watch a compilation of Liu explaining his views in his own words! Click here.

The vote for judicial nominee Professor Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is expected to occur in the next two days.

You can support Professor Liu’s confirmation by calling your home state Senators and asking for their support of Professor Liu’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Confirm Edward M. Chen

Good news!! U.S. District Court nominee Edward M. Chen has waited over 600 days for confirmation vote. Today the Senate reached a time agreement to debate his nomination for 3 hours and following the debate there will be a floor vote. A date/time has not been established yet; however, we anticipate it will be early next week. Click here for more information.

Goodwin Liu’s Judicial Temperament

Those who know Goodwin Liu praise his decency, open-mindedness, and moderation. Still, opponents of Liu’s nomination suggest that he somehow lacks judicial temperament by highlighting a single sentence in his written testimony from five years ago where Liu opposes Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court. David Alan Sklansky of the Daily Journal defends Liu noting that Liu never “maligned” Alito’s character or his professionalism. Read more of Sklansky’s article here.

Judges delayed, justice denied in nation’s courts

 “It is not the spirit of our Founding Fathers to leave nearly 100 seats on the federal bench open for months or years on end,” states Stephen Zack. “Understaffed courts, unable to deliver speedy justice, hurt our country’s rule of law and ability to attract business and growth…From announcing nominations to holding hearings to scheduling a vote, each step can be done more quickly. Every player in the process can do more to resolve the backlog. And, importantly, let’s schedule up or down votes that focus on a judge’s experience and talent. Qualifications should rule the day and the debate.” Let’s continue to support nominees Ed Chen and Goodwin Liu. Read more of Stephen Zack’s blog here.

Professor Goodwin Liu Voted out of Committee, Asian Pacific American Leaders Renew Call for Quick Confirmation Vote

4/7/2011- The Senate Judiciary Committee once again recommended Professor Goodwin Liu for a federal judgeship. Democrats voted in support and all Republicans on the committee voted in opposition to him on a 10-8 party line vote. The Asian Pacific American community urges the Senate to move quickly in voting to confirm Liu. Liu was first nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit more than a year ago, on February 24, 2010. The seat to which Liu has been nominated is classified as a “judicial emergency. Read more here.