Governor Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he is nominating Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu to the state's Supreme Court. Liu must now be approved by the state's commission on judicial appointments.
This is not Liu's first judicial nomination. President Barack Obama previously nominated Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the nomination, criticizing Liu's liberal leanings and lack of practical legal experience. Liu eventually withdrew his candidacy.
In a press conference today, Brown addressed Congressional Republicans’ criticisms of Liu, saying, “I think he’s a very sound thinker, a very broadly educated person, a very thoughtful person. Kevin Starr has supported him as well as a number of conservatives … The dysfunctionality in Washington and the blockage at all costs by the more extreme Republicans I don’t think that should be given a lot of intellectual weight,” reports The Los Angeles Times.
Liu, who is also an Associate Dean at U.C. Berkeley School of Law, teaches constitutional law and education policy. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty in 2003, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and for Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Liu also served as special assistant to the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and as senior program officer for higher education at the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps). He is a Yale Law School graduate and a Rhodes Scholar.
If approved for the court, Liu will be the fourth Asian justice currently sitting on the court. He is nominated to replace Associate Justice Carlos Moreno, the court’s only Latino member.