The Los Angeles Times is reporting that California governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has just nominated failed Ninth Circuit nominee (and Berkeley law professor) Goodwin Liu to the California supreme court. As his record illustrates, Liu promises to be an aggressive liberal activist along the lines of three of Brown’s supreme court appointees during his first stint as governor three decades ago—Rose Bird, Cruz Reynoso, and Joseph Grodin. (All three were ousted by California’s voters in their 1986 retention election.) Or, given his unrestrained ambition, perhaps Liu will temporarily suppress his activism in order to try to position himself for a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
As I understand it, Brown’s nomination of Liu is subject to confirmation only by the state Commission on Judicial Appointments.