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Liu Nomination Sent Back

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David Savage reports in the LA Times:

Two of President Obama's choices for the federal bench in California have been dealt a setback, as the Senate adjourned for a month and sent back to the White House the nominations of UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu and San Francisco Magistrate Edward M. Chen.

Liu and Chen face solid Republican opposition, and their chances of being confirmed now look to be in doubt.

This is very good news. As we have discussed before on this blog, Liu's paper attacking Samuel Alito on his death penalty record establishes that Liu would resolve virtually every debatable question in favor of the murderer.  He would be a bad appointment to any federal court, but to add him to the Ninth Circuit -- already the most hostile to justice of any federal court in the country -- would be a disaster.

2 Comments

The paper "establishes" Liu would decide every debatable question in favor of the murderer? Let's remember that Liu was criticizing Alito's dissenting opinions. And let's remember that the views expressed in Liu's paper would align him with a majority of the 3rd Circuit. For the most part, Liu's paper simply compares Alito's dissents to the majority opinions and uses the comparison to show that Alito is in certain respects outside the judicial mainstream. The paper is far from radical and to characterize it as such is unfair.

"Let's remember that Liu was criticizing Alito's dissenting opinions. And let's remember that the views expressed in Liu's paper would align him with a majority of the 3rd Circuit."

That is false. The opinions criticized include majority opinions as well as dissents. You obviously haven't read the paper.

I suggest you do your homework before you characterize other people as being unfair.

As my own analysis of the same cases reveals, out of a sample of ten cases already reviewed and affirmed by the Pennsylvania or Delaware Supreme Courts (so the obviously reversible ones have already been removed) Alito voted for the habeas petitioner in four of the ten. This is a very moderate record, and someone who attacks such a record as "out of the mainstream" demonstrates that the attacker is the one out of the mainstream.

It is very clear from reading the paper that Liu would have decided every disputed point in favor of the murderer. It is indeed radical, and my characterization of it was quite fair.

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