LOS ANGELES – This week California Governor Jerry Brown nominated UC Berkeley Law Professor Goodwin H. Liu to become a Justice of the California Supreme Court. Professor Liu is the first Asian Pacific American state high court nomination by Governor Brown, who continues to make choices based on his strong belief in diversity.
During his first Gubernatorial Administration from 1975 to 1983, Governor Brown appointed the first African American to the California Supreme Court (Justice Wiley Manuel, 1977), the first female and first female Chief Justice to the California Supreme Court (Chief Justice Rose Bird, 1977), the first Hispanic American to the California Supreme Court (Justice Cruz Reynoso, 1982), and the first openly gay judge to any court nationwide (Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen Lachs, 1979).
“Governor Brown once again has demonstrated his commitment to diversity by nominating Professor Liu,” stated Paul O. Hirose, president of National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “Professor Liu is an exceptional attorney who is well-respected by lawyers across the country. His intellect and integrity will add to the prestige of the California Supreme Court.”
NAPABA applauds Governor Brown for nominating Professor Liu and looks forward to his expeditious confirmation.
Professor Liu is a tenured professor of law at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, where he has taught since 2003. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, was a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University, and received his law degree from Yale University School of Law.
His long list of accolades includes, among other things, service on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and as a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Liu’s interest in public service and the law was sparked when he served as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks to the sponsorship of the late Congressman Robert Matsui.
The California and Washington, D.C./ national members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice are pleased with the decision and fully endorse the nomination.
“We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to elevating the best legal minds to positions of leadership in California’s judiciary and government,’’ said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. “Professor Goodwin Liu is a preeminent and highly respected law professor and will bring to the court the essential values of fairness and equality for all.”
“Goodwin Liu will make an excellent judge and I applaud Governor Brown on his choice. The Asian American community is proud to support in his appointment to the Supreme Court,” said Titi Liu, executive director of the Asian Law Caucus.
“I commend Governor Brown on his commitment to having a diverse judiciary, and I hope that he will continue that commitment by nominating a Latino or African American for the next vacancy on the California Supreme Court,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center.
The Asian American Center for Advancing Justice ( www.advancingjustice.org) is comprised of the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, DC (www.advancingequality.org), the Asian American Institute in Chicago (www.aaichicago.org), the Asian Law Caucus (www.asianlawcaucus.org) in San Francisco and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (www.apalc.org) in Los Angeles.
The mission of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice is to promote a fair and equitable society for all by working for civil and human rights and empowering Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 62 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.
NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.