The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for this Thursday on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Richard Painter—who, as George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer helped to shepherd through the nominations of Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito— brought an interesting perspective to the Liu nomination in this morning’s Los Angeles Times:
A noisy argument has persisted for weeks in the Senate, on blog sites and in newspaper columns over President Obama's nomination of Liu to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This political spat over a single appellate judge makes no sense if one looks at Liu's academic writings and speeches, which reflect a moderate outlook. Indeed, much of this may have nothing to do with Liu but rather with politicians and interest groups jostling for position in the impending battle over the president's next nominee to the Supreme Court.
Painter is right that Liu’s nomination has served as a flashpoint for partisan squabbles and a testing ground for new conservative talking points. We hope that the Judiciary Committee will be able look past the political expedience of bickering over Liu, and recognize him as the qualified, fair nominee he is.