Phi Beta Cons

In Lieu of Berkeley’s Liu

The Senate recently held a hearing on Goodwin Liu’s nomination by President Obama to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Wall Street Journal calls this Berkeley law-school professor ”a prototype for those who believe the Constitution should be read to reflect what he has called the ‘evolving norms and social understandings of our country’ – [a view] de rigueur in the elite colleges and law schools from which he hails.”

Tea partiers, alert! Liu views phrases such as ”free enterprise,” “private ownership of property,” and “limited government” to be ”code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.”

But not to fret. Liu believes that such “flowery” language, appropriate for “provocative” professors, has nothing to do with sitting on a high court. ”Whatever I’ve written in books and articles would have no bearing on my role as a judge,” he said. 

Right. More like posturing, lack of integrity in the classroom, and the Obama administration’s drive to politicize our justice system.

Liu’s academic work is his legal expertise: He has not served as a lower-court judge nor had significant experience arguing cases before the federal courts.

Sounds as if we’re better off stuck with him in the tower than on the bench.

Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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