An Example of Why Every Democratic and Republican Senator Should Vote Against Confirmation of Goodwin Liu
Over at the Bench Memos Blog, Ed Whelan has been carefully analyzing the nomination of Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I have not taken the time to look at all of his blog posts, much less all of the material available about Liu. I do not need to. One incident alone amply confirms that this person is not qualified to be a judge, much less has the temperament to be a U.S. Circuit Court Judge.
Several years ago, Professor Liu testified during the confirmation hearings of Justice Alito. So far so good. Many people who testified against Justice Alito’s nomination would doubtless be well qualified for the federal judiciary. But here is one of the belligerent, demagogic, and dishonest statements that Professor Liu made at that time:
Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse….
This statement by Liu shows him to be nothing but a pure partisan hack, more interested in demonization than in telling the truth. What Alito actually said was that statutes can stop policemen in such situations, even though the Constitution is silent about it. Alito wrote about the policeman in this situation:
If he did not shoot, there was a chance that a murderer or rapist would escape and possibly strike again. I do not think the Constitution provides an answer to the officer’s dilemma.
If Professor Liu had been the slightest bit interested in conveying truthful information to the Senate, he might also have noted that three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently agreed with Alito’s position in this case, namely Justices O’Connor, Burger, and Rehnquist. But of course a lunge for the jugular rarely includes a calm and dispassionate portrayal of facts.
According to Alito, statutes regarding fleeing felons are, “based upon difficult moral and philosophical choices and a balancing of values that is peculiarly suited for legislative rather than judicial resolution.” According to Liu, deferring to the legislature means supporting the worst possible thing that the legislature could possibly do; expect no deference from him.
Professor Liu also testified that he found it “chilling” for Alito to write the following words about this case:
If every suspect could evade arrest by putting the state to this choice [of shooting versus allowing escape], societal order would quickly break down.
Alito was 100% correct, and Liu is out of his mind. Please do not confirm a judge who would allow every suspect, including known rapists and murderers, to flee from arrest.
I have not said a word against Obama’s other nominees, but this one really stands out from the crowd. I am not advocating a filibuster here (though it would be much more deserved than the filibusters of Bush’s nominees), but am advocating a vote not to confirm.