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Liu, Alito, and the Mainstream

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Tom Goldstein has this piece at the Huffington Post arguing that Goodwin Liu is not so far out of the mainstream that he should not be confirmed.

The truth is that we should not fear the appointment of brilliant and conscientious lawyers like Goodwin Liu, whether those nominees tare on the ideological left or right. Instead, we should encourage them to take these critical appointments. There is a vibrant disagreement in the courts over how to interpret the Constitution, with no consensus on the correct answer. The jurists participating in that debate are not outside of the "mainstream." Nor is Goodwin Liu.
However, there is an elephant in the living room that Tom does not address. Exactly the opposite position was taken before the Senate Judiciary Committee four years ago by none other than Goodwin Liu.

Liu's testimony was precisely that Samuel Alito was too far from the mainstream to be confirmed despite his acknowledged intellectual ability. If we measure in-or-out of the mainstream as absolute value of variance from the American political median, it is beyond reasonable disagreement that Alito is closer to the median than Liu.

The only way to make the contrary argument is to measure from someplace other than the overall American center. If you measure from the median of American academia, then of course Liu would be closer to that center. But that would be a very wrong benchmark to use, and the Senators know it.

1 Comment

Liu doesn't even have the integrity to honestly characterize the positions taken by judges in their opinions. That alone disqualifies him.


Don't we have enough instances of Ninth Circuit judges taking liberties with the record (to help out criminals)? We certainly don't need another judge with less than perfect intellectual honesty.

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