I’ve filed a story today about President Barack Obama nominating University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall Law School Associate Dean and Professor Goodwin Liu to a seat on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
All I’m hearing so far today are words of praise from his supporters, but – and I’m just spitballing, here – I’d guess some Republicans might not be so complimentary when his nomination comes to the U.S. Senate for confirmation, perhaps because:
1.) He’s a Democrat.
2.) He’s a Democrat from Berkeley.
3.) He’s 39 years old, and this is a lifetime appointment.
4.) He co-authored (with Stanford Law Professor Pamela Karlan and Duke Law Professor Christopher Schroeder) “Keeping Faith with the Constitution,” a 2009 book that won’t win him fans among constitutional originalists. The authors described a theory of “constitutional fidelity,” holding that the Constitution’s authority and legitimacy over time relies on its words and principles being “made relevant to the conditions and challenges of each generation through an ongoing process of interpretation.”
5.) He also last year wrote a sharp critique of the Bush Administration’s civil-rights record, which he said “reveals a shift away from traditional enforcement priorities and, more significantly, a worrisome erosion of institutional norms of impartiality, professionalism, and nonpartisanship in civil rights enforcement.” The article also examined the Bush Administration’s handling of the University of Michigan affirmative action cases; the No Child Left Behind K–12 education initiative; and the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. “The primary lesson is that, although our society shares a broad commitment to diversity and inclusion, we have yet to develop the political will or the policy frameworks to address the social dysfunctions arising from the intersection of race and poverty.”