September 8, 2013

Goodwin Liu isn’t the left winger critics painted him to be

So reports Susan Sward in today’s Sacramento Bee.

The long article — the latest of a number of pieces about the newest justice (see here, here, here, and here) — includes critiques of Justice Liu’s two-year Supreme Court career (“His opinions are very well thought out and well reasoned,” says Professor Gerald Uelmen), his description of his two pre-appointment interviews with Governor Brown (“After both interviews, Liu went home and told his wife:  ‘I’m not getting the job’ ”), and his views about U.S. Senate Republicans blocking a vote on his nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Liu believes “the framers of the Constitution intended the Senate confirmation process to be political,” but “his real problem was with the Senate requiring 60 votes just to allow a vote on a nominee”).

Additionally, Justice Liu is quoted as explaining that being an Asian-American (one of four on the seven-member high court) gives him “a little window into what it feels for people to be outsiders” and “into understanding the nature of difference and how it can limit the aspirations people have.”  This sensitivity was apparent two weeks ago in one of Justice Liu’s separate opinions regarding race discrimination in jury selection when he wrote that “it is a troubling reality, rooted in history and social context, that our black citizens are generally more skeptical about the fairness of our criminal justice system than other citizens.”

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