Friday, May 20, 2011

GOP Lies Again:Blocks Vote on Lui Nomination

The U.S. Senate blocked the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the first rejection of one of President Barack Obama’s judicial choices. Once again, GOP politicians failed to adhere to their vow not filibuster and to allow judicial nominations to be voted upon by the full Senate.
With 60 votes needed to end debate on the University of California law professor’s nomination, the largely party-line tally was 52 in favor of proceeding to a confirmation vote, 43 against. Joining 51 Democrats voting to end debate was Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, while 42 Republicans and Senator Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, opposed the motion. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah voted “present.”

The procedural vote came after more than a year of delays in the confirmation process stemming from Republican opposition to Liu’s selection.
Liu’s Democratic backers pointed to his years of scholarship and his background. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Liu is the son of Taiwanese immigrants. He attended public schools and went on to Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, a Rhodes scholarship and a clerkship for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The American Bar Association rated him “unanimously well qualified” to join the Circuit court.

At issue for many Republicans were comments Liu made during testimony to the Judiciary Committee opposing Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court in 2005 by then- President George W. Bush. Liu said Alito’s record as a federal appeals court judge “envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse” and where “federal agents may point guns at ordinary citizens during a raid, even after no sign of resistance.”
Liu told the Judiciary panel this year he regretted the language he used.

Republicans, though, said Liu’s rhetoric was intemperate enough to disqualify him for the judgeship.

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