Editorials and Opinion
[Senators beliefs on the Constitution & judicial nominee filibusters] (Fox News, 05/19/11)
"A expert in the area of federal judicial selection, attorney Glenn Sugameli, questioned both Thune and Isakson this time around. "Do Sens. Thune and Isakson think the Constitution has been amended recently to allow filibusters of judicial nominees? They insisted the Constitution requires up or down votes for all judicial nominees in major 2005 Floor speeches, which Sen. Isakson reiterated two weeks ago.""
GOP blocks Obama administration judicial nominee (Dallas Morning News, 05/19/11)
Matthew Huisman: "Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison made the argument six years ago that under the Constitution, judicial nominees must get an up-or-down vote. On that basis, they denounced the Democrats' use of filibusters to block judicial nominees -- the same tactic Republicans employed with Liu. Read their comments in an earlier post. [link]"
Why Mitch McConnell Should Heed His Own Advice (The Silly Season Blog , 05/19/11)
"There's certainly an argument that filibustering of judicial appointments is unconstitutional. The judicial nomination process is the only process in which all three branches of government are necessarily involved. The stranglehold of 40 senators over the other two branches' structural right to operate seems like an imbalance not intended by the framers. Whereas most inter-branch controversies are not amenable to suits, Goodwin Liu might actually have standing against the Senators holding his nomination (or conspiring to hold it), who are irreparably damaging his career prospects."
In disheartening display, Senate blocks Goodwin Liu vote (Washington Monthly, 05/19/11)
Steve Benen: As of two weeks ago, it seemed as if the chamber had finally turned a corner on dealing with judicial nominees. We finally saw a Republican contingent willing to give jurists an up-or-down vote, even if they intended to vote against the nomination, suggesting some sanity had returned to the chamber.
It didn’t last.... how many GOP senators were willing to give this nominee an up-or-down vote? Just one: Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski."
Playing Hardball with Goodwin Liu, or the Gang of 14 Deal Implodes (Balkinization, 05/19/11)
Jack Balkin: "The gang of 14 arrangement was that Senators from both parties would arrange their votes on cloture so that judicial nominees who got out of committee would proceed to a final vote and there would be no filibusters except in 'extraordinary circumstances.' That meant a really objectionable candiate, for example, somebody way out of the mainstream. . . . Goodwin Liu is nothing like this. He's no more liberal than Bush appointees who have sailed through are conservative. In fact, I'd say he's more moderate in some respects."
Grassley: Nominee Liu has 'Communist' China worldview (Daily Kos, 05/19/11)
Joan McCarter: "an op-ed written six years ago in which Liu made the rather obvious point that conservative interest groups talk about "free enterprise," "private ownership of property," and "limited government" as "code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections." That, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says, means that the Asian-American Liu is basically a Communist, in the Chinese vein, of course."
Confirm Goodwin Liu (Salt Lake Tribune [UT] , 05/19/11)
Opinion by Audrey Barron: "I am surprised to read news accounts of Republican threats to filibuster Liu’s nomination. Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch have both previously stated that they oppose the use of a filibuster for judicial nominees. I call on Hatch and Lee to stand by their word and to vote for cloture on this outstanding nominee."
Tit For Tat (Fair and Unbalanced blog, 05/19/11)
"Remember when Republicans were adamant about ensuring that judicial nominees received an "up or down" vote? In those days the Democrats had been using the filibuster effectively to thwart some of George W. Bush's more extreme judicial appointments. ... That was then, this is now. Goodwin Liu's nomination to sit on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was successfully filibustered today, with only one Republican voting to end debate on the nomination and allow an up or down vote."
Federal Judgeships: Active Scholars Need Not Apply? (American Constitution Society Blog, 05/19/11)
Adam Winkler, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law: "The message for law professors from these examples is clear: if you want to become a judge one day, don’t write too much, write on non-controversial topics, and watch what you say at speaking events. The world is watching."
‘I would never filibuster any president’s judicial nominee’ (Washington Monthly, 05/19/11)
Steve Benen: A total of 43 senators — including 42 Republicans — successfully filibustered Goodwin Liu’s judicial nomination this afternoon. With that in mind, it’s worth noting what many of these same senators used to say about this practice before there was a Democratic president. For some, their own actions today weren’t just wrong; they were literally unconstitutional.[quotes Senators] Glenn Sugameli, a staff attorney at Judging the Environment, and my go-to guy on matters related to judicial nominees, said in a statement, “The depths of partisan, unprincipled hypocrisy were plumbed by the many Republican Senators who voted to filibuster Goodwin Liu’s nomination after denouncing all such filibusters and insisting the Constitution requires up-or-down votes for all judicial nominees.”
Sen. Grassley Accuses Asian-American Judicial Nominee Of Holding ‘Communist’ Chinese Worldview (Think Progress, 05/19/11)
Ian Millhiser: "Six years ago, Ninth Circuit judicial nominee Goodwin Liu published an op-ed in which he made the utterly banal point that a conservative interest group used the terms “free enterprise,”‘ “private ownership of property,” and “limited government” as “code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.” In a speech on the Senate floor yesterday, however, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) somehow managed to interpret this op-ed as proof that Liu wants to turn America into “Communist-run China” ... Grassley’s rant against Liu — a widely-respected law professor at the University of California Berkeley — is just the latest example of the GOP’s increasingly bizarre attacks on this outstandingly qualified nominee. ... As Liu explains, his own commitment to American law stems from his experience as the child of Taiwanese immigrants who “came from a society that did not, at the time, know many of the freedoms that we take for granted in America.” "
Republican Senators Filibuster Liu Nomination and Try to Explain Why (American Constitution Society Blog, 05/19/11)
"ACS Executive Director Caroline Fredrickson scored Republicans for their delaying tactics, saying “Those senators who voted against cloture are ushering in an era of unprecedented obstructionism, and threaten to bring our system of justice to a grinding halt.”
ACS Board Chair Geoffrey R. Stone also weighed in, saying “Since President Obama took office, some Republican senators have made an art of delaying votes on qualified nominees who have broad bipartisan support, thus threatening the capacity and integrity of our system of justice.”"
Liu Nomination Goes Down--What Now? (American Prospect, 05/19/11)
Adam Serwer: "A recess appointment would certainly be controversial given Republicans' animosity towards Liu. But by their own standards, it would be justified--Pickering and Pryor were also filibustered."
Judicial Vacancies: An Unspoken Crisis (Open Salon , 05/19/11)
Mark Wilson: "And so it looks like another vacancy goes unfilled as Republicans block qualified nominees, hoping to stall just long enough until they get their shot at the presidency, during which time they’ll hopefully be able to get some bright, young Robert Borks into the judiciary."
Flashback: GOP Senators Claim Filibusters of Judicial Nominees are Unconstitutional (People For blog, 05/19/11)
"In 2005, when a handful of President Bush’s nominees faced filibusters, at least 12 current U.S. senators said that preventing judicial nominees from getting up-or-down votes isn’t just wrong: it’s unconstitutional. The impending cloture vote on the Liu nomination will be an important test to separate those senators who stand on principle from those who put politics above all else." [quotes many Senators]
Goodwin Liu Nomination Looks Endangered, With Cloture Vote Today (Firedoglake, 05/19/11)
David Dayen: trying to force Republicans to be as good as their past statements about filibustering judicial nominations.[quotations] Unfortunately, consistency isn’t the Republicans’ strong suit. Graham, Isakson and McCain – and in all likelihood, Kyl, Hatch, Sessions and the other Judiciary Republicans as well – will vote against cloture today."
The case for Goodwin Liu (Politico, 05/19/11)
Richard W. Painter: "I served as the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush for two and a half years. There, I worked extensively on the selection and confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, as well as some of the president’s nominees for the courts of appeals.
As the Senate prepares to vote Thursday on the long-postponed nomination of Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, I am reminded of what it was like to be inside the White House, trying to help a nominee through this difficult process
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has now called for cloture. All that is required is for Senate Republicans to practice what they preached for so long under Bush: Give Liu an up or down vote rather than a filibuster."
Berkeley Law Faculty Responds to Goodwin Liu Filibuster (Confirm Goodwin Liu blog, 05/19/11)
Jonathan Singer: "Conservative and moderate Berkeley Law scholars alike described Professor Liu's writings as mainstream. In fact, not a single legal scholar suggested otherwise since he was first nominated on February 24, 2010. Constitutional law professor Jesse Choper said this case 'is a sharply disturbing illustration of the politicization of the judicial confirmation process.'"
Extraordinary Hypocrisy: How Republican senators justified their decision to kill the nomination of Goodwin Liu. (Slate.com, 05/19/11)
Dahlia Lithwick: "First, there are the most obvious failures of intellectual consistency: Republicans who once claimed that filibustering judicial nominees is "offensive to our nation's constitutional design" (Sen. John Cornyn, 2004) and flat-out "unconstitutional" (Sen. Lindsey Graham, 2005) voted against Liu. Even the Republican who said he "will vote to support a vote, up or down, on every nominee—understanding that, were I in the minority party and the issues reversed, I would take exactly the same position because this document, our Constitution, does not equivocate"—even that guy (Sen. Johnny Isakson, 2005) voted against Liu. ... The idea that Liu's condemnation of Alito was so injudicious as to render him unfit to serve is as absurd as the rest of the arguments against him."
Confirming Goodwin Liu (Daily Kos, 05/18/11)
Adam B: "That's why tomorrow's cloture vote on Goodwin Liu's nomination to the 9th Circuit matters so much -- both because of Liu's own sterling credentials and remarkable potential, but also to give the President confidence to nominate ten more like him soon....At a minimum, Goodwin Liu deserves the same up-or-down vote that any judicial nominee not presenting "extraordinary circumstances" warrants. But if you don't believe me, ask Ken Starr, who wrote Sen. Leahy to say that “Goodwin Liu is a person of great intellect, accomplishment, and integrity, and he is exceptionally well-qualified to serve on the court of appeals.”"
Dems Pulling Out All the Stops for Confirmation of Goodwin Liu (Firedoglake, 05/18/11)
David Dayen: "he more important move may be a meeting and photo-op ... between Liu, White House Counsel Bob Bauer, Reid, Senators Feinstein and Boxer (from Liu’s home state of California), and importantly, Senators Akaka and Inouye of Hawaii. There are currently no Asian-Americans serving on the 9th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over an area that is 10% Asian. Democrats clearly want everyone to know this by having the two highest-ranking Asian-Americans in the country appear with Liu, a son of Taiwanese immigrants, tomorrow. They want to get that picture in every Asian-American paper in the West. They want to make it difficult for Republican Senators to alienate the Asian-American vote."
NRO's Whelan Advocates Filibustering Judicial Nominee Liu Because Such Filibusters Are "A Bad Practice" (Media Matters for America, 05/18/11)
Adam Shah: "In a blog post yesterday, Whelan argued that filibustering judicial nominations is "a bad practice," but that this is precisely why Senate Republicans should filibuster the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be an appellate judge.... By the way, Liu has been the subject of a concerted smear campaign by Whelan and others. And Senate Republicans are considering a filibuster of Liu even though many of the people leading the charge have argued -- unlike Whelan -- that filibusters are unconstitutional."