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Stuart Taylor on Goodwin Liu Nomination

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In the National Journal, dated Saturday:

The president's nominee had "a brilliant legal mind" and a charming manner, the critic wrote in an op-ed. But his record was "resolutely conservative." This made the Supreme Court nomination "a seismic event that threatens to deepen the nation's red-blue divide." It should be rejected, the critic implied.

The nominee was John Roberts, now the chief justice. The critic was the comparably brilliant and charming Goodwin Liu, a University of California (Berkeley) law professor. He is now the most resolutely liberal of President Obama's judicial nominees.

Taylor captures well what is so very peculiar about the supporters of Liu's nomination. Calling for confirmation on his qualifications and intellect despite his way-out-of-the-mainstream ideological bent, they flatly contradict the position taken by Liu himself on both the Roberts and Alito nominations.

Regarding the filibuster question, Taylor has a proposal:

Third, many Republican senators forcefully denounced as unconstitutional the Democratic filibusters of Bush's nominees. Could they unblushingly turn around and filibuster Obama's nominees?

Yes, they could. Republican senators cannot be expected to disarm unilaterally. Not unless Democratic leaders first make a meaningful pledge not to filibuster future Republican presidents' nominees absent truly extraordinary circumstances.

Good luck with that.

BTW, isn't a "resolutely liberal" nominee to a court that is already out of the mainstream, out of the river, and over the left embankment a "truly extraordinary circumstance"? If not, what is?

1 Comment

One wonders how "brilliant" Liu really is. For him to believe all that stuff he espouses would call into question his "brilliance"--it's not like he's 20.

Given the composition of the Ninth Circuit and the record of liberal judges on the Ninth Circuit, the burden should be on Liu to show that he would be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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