Obama 9th Circuit Nominee: Constitution Must Adapt to Changes in the World

Posted: 03/13/2010 by Lynn Dartez in 2011

FOX News.com

Updated March 04, 2010

By Shannon Bream

– FOXNews.com

Even his critics describe him as “brilliant,” but newly-nominated law professor Goodwin Liu will not have an easy time getting to the 9th Circuit bench.

Even his critics describe him as “brilliant,” but President Obama’s newly minted judicial nominee — law professor Goodwin Liu — will not have an easy time getting to the 9th Circuit bench.

At age 39, Liu has compiled an impressive resume: Rhodes Scholar, Supreme Court clerk, top grades at both Stanford University and Yale Law School and now law professor University of California, Berkeley.

Liu has also aligned himself with progressive legal groups, including the American Constitution Society, where he is chairman of the board of directors. That’s prompting opponents to argue that Liu is “too far outside the mainstream” to take a seat on a court just one step below the Supreme Court of the United States.

“He believes the Constitution is something judges can manipulate to have it say what they think culture or evolving standards of decency requires of it in a given day,” said the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Republican Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Ed Whelan, a one-time clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and now president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, echoed those concerns.

“Liu believes that judges have the authority to impose their views … using clever verbal camouflage to disguise what they’re doing.”

Liu opponents point to a number of his writings, including a book he co-authored in 2009 called “Keeping Faith with the Constitution,” in which the authors opine about their concept of judicial interpretation.

“Applications of constitutional text and principles must be open to adaptation and change … as the conditions and norms of our society become ever more distant from those of the Founding generation.”

That theme — that the Constitution’s text and principles must be adapted to changes in the world — repeats throughout the book and raises eyebrows among conservatives.

Others who know Liu point to what he’s accomplished, starting as the son of Taiwanese immigrants who didn’t speak much English.

“He embodies the American dream,” said Doug Kendall, president of the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC).

Kendall’s group does not make a decision about whether to officially support nominees until their confirmation process has concluded, but he is impressed by what he knows of Liu so far.

Kendall said he believes Liu’s critics are wrongly portraying him as extreme.

“If you look at Liu’s scholarship, he rejects both the conservative idea that judges should strictly construe the Constitution and the liberal idea that the Constitution is a living, breathing document,” he said.

Liu is no stranger to Capitol Hill. He testified against the nomination of Justice Samuel Alito during Alito’s 2006 confirmation hearings.

In a 2005 report Liu co-authored prior to his testimony, he wrote that Alito’s opinions “show a disturbing tendency to tolerate serious errors” and “reveal troubling perspectives on federalism, race, and due process of law.”

His testimony didn’t derail Alito but now Liu will face similar probing. Already, questions are being asked about whether the president’s is putting the young nominee on the fast track to the high court.

Kendall said only time will tell whether Liu would be the right fit, but it’s possible he could be in the running if he is confirmed to and serves well at the 9th Circuit. However, that is a possibility that “concerns” Liu’s detractors, including Whelan.

“That’s certainly an added factor that folks in the Senate need to take into account,” he said.

  1. Longknife 21 says:

    For more on this see: http://newsmax.com/InsideCover/US-Obama-Judges/2010/03/13/id/352550
    “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,”
    Very dangerous International Socialist from UC,Berkley? As a Federal JUDGE? GET A GRIP!

  2. Longknife 21 says:

    This guy is EXTREMELY dangerous, and is the OPPOSITE of what a Federal Judge should be. His OATH and sworn duty is to support the Constitution, not to change it to suit his over-educated-idiot socialist and One World theories.
    Why is this commie law professor with NO JUDICIAL EXPERIENCE even being considered to be appointed to the second highest court in the Land? Because his Marxist/Internationalist theories agree with our Prez, who has NO EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE and his performance shows it. Both are Anti Constitution and Anti-American and should not hold any public office or any position supported by the Tax-payers!

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