WASHINGTON (March 2, 2011) – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its second confirmation hearing for Professor Goodwin Liu. He was first nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit more than a year ago, on February 24, 2010. Liu’s second hearing was chaired by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and attended by members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
“As his testimony today once again demonstrated, Professor Liu is eminently qualified to serve on the Ninth Circuit,” said Paul O. Hirose, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “Not only does he possess the intellect and temperament to join the bench, he would also become the only Asian Pacific American judge on the Ninth Circuit. This is despite the fact that California has among the highest concentration of Asian Pacific Americans in the nation.”
Out of 875 Article III judgeships, currently only 13 judges are Asian Pacific Americans. Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is the only active federal appellate court judge.
“After two confirmation hearings and several hours of testimony, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have had the opportunity to thoroughly consider the nomination of Professor Liu,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center. “We strongly urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider his nomination quickly and for the Senate to have an up-or-down vote without any additional delay.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first confirmation hearing for Professor Liu in April 2010. The full Senate neglected to hold an up-or-down vote for Liu before the conclusion of the 111th Congress in December 2010. As anticipated, in January 2011, President Obama renominated Professor Liu and 41 other judicial nominees who also did not get confirmation votes last year.
Liu, a first generation Taiwanese American, is a distinguished graduate of Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He is a former Rhodes Scholar, a former Supreme Court clerk, and a member of the American Law Institute. He has worked as a corporate litigator and as a key policy advisor in two federal agencies.
In 2003, Liu returned to his home state of California to join the faculty of UC Berkeley School of Law, one of the nation’s top law schools, and earned tenure and promotion to Associate Dean in five years. He received a unanimous rating of “Well Qualified” from the American Bar Association, which is its highest rating. Liu has been nominated to fill a seat that has been designated a “judicial emergency.”
Hirose and Narasaki thank President Obama for nominating Professor Liu, and applaud Senator Leahy for his stewardship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. They also thank California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for their continued support of Professor Liu’s nominations.