One of President Obama’s most interesting judicial confirmation battles to date may be about to unfold.
Obama has nominated Goodwin Liu (photo at right) for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu teaches constitutional law at the University of California at Berkeley and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The 39-year-old law professor, while drawing fire from some conservatives, has won praise from others.
Liu’s nominationÂ “will be the most high profile confirmation fight that we have seen under Obama” since then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Curt Levey, executive director of the conservative Committee for Justice, was quoted as saying by The Blog of Legal Times. Levey described Liu as one of the leading “radical legal theorists out there,” according to a Washington Post article.
But conservative lawyer Clint Bolick, director of the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, wrote a supportive letter about Liu last month and said the professor exhibits “fresh, independent thinking and intellectual honesty.”
And former Rep. Tom Campbell, seeking the Republican nomination to run for the Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Boxer, said Liu would bring “scholarly distinction and a strong reputation for integrity, fair-mindedness and collegiality to the Ninth Circuit,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Liu testified against the confirmation of then-nominee Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Liu is former board chair of the American Constitution Society. He has supported school choice in urban education, according to the Los Angeles Times. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, he could become the only full-time Asian-American judge on a federal appeals court if confirmed.
The White House also announced Obama’s nomination of District Judge Robert N. Chatigny from Connecticut to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Judge Chatigny’s record is examined in the Hartford Courant. You can learn more about Obama’s track record for judicial nominations in Gavel Grab.