Sunday, January 23, 2011

Goodwin Liu is worth fighting for: SacBee's Dan Morain

Goodwin Liu (Rio Americano Class of '87) is poised to become Rio's most noteworthy alumnus. After having set the rivers on fire with his brilliance at Rio, he went on to similar triumphs at Stanford, Yale Law, and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar).

As a professor at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall, he continued to shine. And in February of 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Liu to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Many observers think he's Supreme Court material. I've written about him before.

But Goodwin, like the President, is considered left of center. So his ascendency has sent Senate Republicans running scared. And under rocks. His testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was flawless, despite inaccurate and misguided attacks leveled against him by Alabama's Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and his ilk. Acting Chair Diane Feinstein actually went out of her way to allow conservative Senate Republicans extended time (far past their allotment) to attack Liu. They did their worst, but Goodwin was unrattled.

He was polite, professional, cordial, and humble. Much more so than I could have been under similar circumstances. I watched the entire three hours of testimony and was as proud of Goodwin as I could be. But that was in April.

Though Liu's nomination was approved by the judiciary committee, he was never given an up-or-down vote in the full Senate. Senators can place anonymous holds on nominees, and can threaten filibusters. And that appears to be what conservative Republicans are doing.

Never mind that Republican Kenneth Starr (of Whitewater fame), supports Liu's confirmation.

Never mind that Bush White House Associate Counsel, Richard Painter, supports Liu's confirmation.

Never mind that Ford cabinet secretary, William Coleman, supports Liu's confirmation.

Never mind that Fox News' Megyn Kelly admits Liu's credentials are unassailable.

Never mind that Liu's ABA rating is a unanimous "well-qualified," a status that eluded Clarence Thomas when he sat for confirmation to the Supreme Court.

On January 5, Rio's Goodwin Liu was renominated. He should be confirmed. If that requires a battle in the Senate, let the fight play out. Goodwin Liu is worth fighting for.

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Morain agrees. But that's just one more note in the steady drumbeat of calls for Liu's confirmation. More can be found at

No comments: