Bench Memos

Goodwin Liu’s Sloppy Homework

Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu has apparently been so busy devising his grandiose schemes of social engineering—and plotting to become chief social engineer—that he hasn’t done the basic but tedious homework of completing his Senate questionnaire properly.  Blogger Morgen of Verum Serum calls to my attention a July June 2008 conference panel in which Liu participated on the question whether to push for an amendment to the federal Constitution that “would guarantee all students a right to education.”  That panel isn’t listed on Liu’s initial questionnaire response or on his supplemental response (which added, among other things, another presentation that Morgen found that Liu had overlooked).

One summary of the panelists’ presentation indicates that Liu “had some reservations over launching a campaign on a constitutional education amendment”—presumably because he believed that his idea of having judges invent constitutional welfare rights (an expansive term that he uses to include education) would be much easier to achieve.*

* Update:  A reader objects that the cursory two-sentence summary of Liu’s comments that I link to doesn’t support my speculation.  That’s true, which is why I said “presumably.”  It seems to me reasonable to presume that Liu’s comments on the constitutional protection of education rights were informed by his thoughts in his then-soon-to-be-published law-review article on constitutional protection of education (and other welfare) rights.

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