Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Friday, September 24, 2010


Page 3


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Nominations


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The† Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to approve the nominations of UC Berkeley School of Law professor and associate dean Goodwin Liu to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and federal Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen to a district judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Both nominees were voted out of committee by a vote of 12-7.

President Obama previously nominated Liu Feb. 24, and the Senate Judiciary Committee gave him its backing in a 12-7 party-line vote in on May 13. The nomination, however, was not acted upon by the full Senate before its session ended in December.

Under Senate rules nominations not acted upon during the session are returned to the president and cannot be considered unless made again by the president.

Obama first nominated Chen on Aug. 6, 2009, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination on a 12-7 party-line vote the following October. When the full Senate did not act on the nomination before the end of its session, the president nominated Chen a second time in January, and the Judiciary Committee again approved the nomination the following month by a 12-7 vote, but as before, it was not acted upon by the full Senate.

Liu is a former OíMelveny & Myers appellate litigator in Washington, D.C., and he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge David Tatel before joining Berkeleyís faculty in 2003. 

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

The attorney graduated with honors from Stanford University with honors, then 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.

The Ninth Circuit is authorized 29 judgeships, four of which are currently vacant, and the court reported 12,223 appeals filed in 2009. There are currently four vacancies on the court.

Chen is a former civil litigator for the American Civil Liberties Unionís Northern California Chapter.†

Before joining the ACLU in 1985, he spent three years as an associate at San Franciscoís Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer. The attorney attended college and law school at UC Berkeley, and served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Charles B. Renfrew of the Northern District of California and Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James R. Browning.


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