The Corner

Appeals Court Nominee Withholds Info from Senate

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) are asking for an indefinite postponement of hearings for controversial Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu, on the news that Liu failed to disclose 117 items from his record on the required committee questionnaire.

The omitted records reportedly include material on Liu’s positions on affirmative action, judicial activism, immigration, and “constitutional welfare rights.”

From a letter to Judiciary Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.):

The supplement lists numerous additional items that Professor Liu omitted from the Questionnaire he submitted to the Committee on February 24, 2010. These glaring omissions were provided only after Committee staff continued to locate other additional items not disclosed by the nominee. At best, this nominee’s extraordinary disregard for the Committee’s constitutional role demonstrates incompetence; at worst, it creates the impression that he knowingly attempted to hide his most controversial work from the Committee. Professor Liu’s unwillingness to take seriously his obligation to complete these basic forms is potentially disqualifying and has placed his nomination in jeopardy.

In the weeks since we received Professor Liu’s original Questionnaire, Committee staff has repeatedly discovered missing items, including: (1) Professor Liu’s commencement speech to UC Berkeley Law; (2) his participation in a panel entitled “What the 2008 Election Will Mean for the Supreme Court”; (3) his participation in a presentation entitled “The Fate of Affirmative Action from the O’Connor Court to the Roberts Court”; (4) his participation in an event co-sponsored by La Raza and the Center for Social Justice at Berkeley entitled “Mendez v. Westminster: 1946—A California Look at Brown v. Board of Education”; and (5) his participation in a conference on school funding. In addition, on March 31, it was reported that Professor Liu failed to include his participation in a panel entitled “The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education at the American Constitution Society’s (ACS) 2004 national convention. At the time of his participation, Professor Liu was a member of ACS’ board, his academic work focused heavily on Brown, and the panel discussion marked the 50th anniversary of Brown. Moreover, a transcript of the event can be found through an internet search. Nevertheless, Professor Liu failed to identify his participation in and/or provide a transcript of this panel discussion in his Questionnaire.

You can read the full letter here.


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