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GOP sharpening knives for Cal judicial nominee

As predicted Wednesday, Senate Republicans are preparing to put up a fight against the confirmation of University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall Law School Associate Dean and Professor Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued this statement today:

Jeff Sessions“I am very disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit — already an activist court that has handed down decisions striking ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance and finding Megan’s Law to be unconstitutional. I fear that Professor Liu will be an activist judge in this same mold.

“Instead of nominating an individual who has demonstrated an impartial commitment to following the Constitution and the rule of law, President Obama has selected someone far outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence. Professor Liu believes that judges should look to ‘evolving norms and social understandings’ in interpreting the Constitution, he has a history of advocating for racial preferences, and he served on the Board of the directors of the ACLU.

“Professor Liu’s record will be examined carefully and fairly, and I will withhold final judgment until after his hearing. But it seems to me that his judicial philosophy does not respect the American ideal of judges as neutral arbiters of the law. I hope my initial impressions are wrong.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.