Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Page 3


Obama Nominates Goodwin Liu to U.S. Appellate Bench


By a MetNews Staff Writer


President Obama has nominated Goodwin Liu of the UC Berkeley School of Law to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the school and court officials said yesterday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Liu would become the sole Asian American sitting as an active judge on the Ninth Circuit, the school said.

Liu said he was “very humbled by this nomination and grateful to President Obama for this honor.” He thanked Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for their “support and confidence” and said he was looking forward to working with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the confirmation process.

Feinstein yesterday issued a statement calling Liu “an exceptionally bright constitutional scholar who has distinguished himself at every turn,” and is “as sharp as they come, with a kind demeanor and a good temperament.”

She commented that Liu is “someone who has earned the broad respect of his colleagues on the left and the right,” who “will be a fine appellate judge.”

Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley praised Liu as “an outstanding teacher, a brilliant scholar and an exceptional public servant” who is “widely admired for his intellect, fairness and good judgment.”

Liu is “one of the most capable colleagues I’ve had in my three decades in academia,” Edley added. “I hate the thought of Berkeley losing him, but it’s a higher calling and the nation’s gain.”

Tom Campbell, a Republican candidate for the Senate and former dean of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, predicted that Liu “will bring scholarly distinction and a strong reputation for integrity, fair-mindedness, and collegiality to the Ninth Circuit.” 

Immediate Past State Bar President Holly Fujie opined that Liu “has a breadth of experience that will be an invaluable addition to the Ninth Circuit,” with his background in academia, government and private practice. She said she was “delighted that the bench and bar will have the benefit of his remarkable talents” and “excited that this nomination will add diversity to the federal courts of appeal.”

Berkeley Law professor and former dean Herma Hill Kay remarked that Liu “is an outstanding choice,” as an “intellectually honest scholar who demonstrates sincere respect for and sensitivity to the ideas and concerns of many different kinds of people.”

Liu joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2003 and earned tenure and promotion to associate dean in 2008. Last year he was awarded UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, which is the university’s highest honor for teaching. In 2007 he received the Education Law Association’s Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship.

Before coming to Berkeley, Liu practiced as a litigation attorney in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and for D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Tatel.

He also served as a special assistant to the deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education and a senior program officer for higher education at the Corporation for National Service—known as AmeriCorps.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Liu grew up in Sacramento and attended public schools. After graduating from Stanford University with honors, he won a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a masters degree at Oxford. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1998 and joined the California State Bar the following year, making him the first person in his family to become a lawyer, UC Berkeley officials said.


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