Obama Finally Nominates a Liberal Appeals Court Judge

President Obama has nominated Goodman Liu, age 39, to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Finally, he's nominated a liberal.

Goodwin Liu, 39, is an unabashed liberal legal scholar who, if confirmed, could become a force on the federal appeals court for decades. There's talk that in time, the Rhodes Scholar, former high court clerk and current assistant dean and law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, could be the first person of Asian descent chosen for the Supreme Court.

Jeff Sessions isn't happy. That's a good sign. Obama needs to realize his efforts to appease Republicans by nominating centrists isn't working:

Only six of Obama's 15 appeals court nominees have been confirmed even though the president's choices have seemed designed to avoid "high-profile fights," in the words of Curt Levey of the conservative Committee for Justice.


By nominating young liberals to the appeals courts, they could serve for decades, far longer than Obama is in office. And they are our protection in case Republicans retake the Presidency -- not to mention the Senate, which confirms them.

A battle over Liu, or efforts to stall his confirmation, may lie ahead. You can go here to a site started by Jonathan Singer of MYDD to learn more about him, sign a petition to confirm him or get the link to his Facebook fan page. Jonathan is in law school at Berkeley, and a student of Professor Liu.

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    and Yellen may become Federal Vice Chair (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Politalkix on Sat Mar 13, 2010 at 11:24:56 PM EST
    Federal Reserve Bank, that is (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:52:36 PM EST
    "Yellen" being Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Fed and retired prof at Berkeley.  (Since I couldn't understand the cryptic nature of "Politalkix"'s post, I clicked the link, and that's what I found.)

    What I would like to know is (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by hairspray on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 12:33:34 AM EST
    whether Obama ever replaced all of those U.S. Attorneys like the two Bushes and Clinton did when they came into office? Are some of those Republican appointees still serving?

    Excellent question!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:16:34 AM EST
    According to the "Main Justice" Blog (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 12:22:25 PM EST
    Obama had made only 50 nominations for U.S. Attorney as of February 25, 2010, and the Senate had approved only 34.  There are 94 federal districts, each of which (potentially) has a presidentially-appointed chief U.S. Attorney. I'm actually not sure how this compares with GWB's first term rate, for example.

    I don't know how rapidly (none / 0) (#13)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 12:54:47 PM EST
    he replaced the outgoing Clinton Attorneys but he didn't keep any holdovers. The GOP swept the place clean of Democrats.  If Obama doesn't hurry up some of his nominees will hardly get time to be oriented before Obama's first term is over.

    Still Nearly a Quarter (none / 0) (#8)
    by The Maven on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 12:29:28 PM EST
    If I'm reading this chart from MainJustice.com properly, it would appear that there are still 21 Bush holdovers (out of 93 positions) serving as of this past Friday.  Based on other recent posts at that site, Obama has only made 54 nominations, 36 of whom have been confirmed.  Bios for all the current heads of each USAO are available via links from this DOJ webpage.

    I like hearing this (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 09:20:01 AM EST
    And 90% of the time if Jeff Sessions is unhappy, I find myself very very happy.  The universe in its infinite wisdom sees to it that Jeff and I occassionally share the same tornadoes and hurricanes, and those are usually the only times that when Jeff is sad I'm sad too.

    Obama's not "appealing" to centrists (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lambert on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 10:11:13 AM EST
    He is a centrist, and in a context where "the center" is a Republican who isn't a lunatic.

    yet more rulings to be reversed (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 12:37:56 PM EST
    So the ninth circuit will make even more rulings that get reversed by the supreme court.  

    Since the Ninth Circuit rulings (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Peter G on Sun Mar 14, 2010 at 07:57:36 PM EST
    to which you refer, Dio, are mostly correct, while the S.Ct.'s reversals are often regrettable and wrong, there being more such 9th Circuit rulings in the future, if there are, can only be all to the good. The Supremes don't have time to reverse all the rulings the Justices don't happen to like. It is past time we started to develop some balance on the federal appeals courts, in the form of highly competent liberal jurists, as a partial counter to some of the result-oriented "conservatives" planted there in recent decades.

    Let's see (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Emma on Mon Mar 15, 2010 at 11:53:00 AM EST
    some liberal appointments outside the 9th Circuit, though.  Circuit splits are one of the two really established paths to the SCt.  When those splits happen, I'd like more than the 9th Circuit out there with a liberal opinion.