Goodwin Liu Withdraws Nomination; PFAW Blasts Senate GOP's Smear Campaign

Today, Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu requested that President Obama withdraw his nomination to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu, who was first nominated to the position two years ago, was refused an up-or-down vote by Senate Republicans last week. In requesting the withdrawal of his nomination, Liu cited the needs of his family and the judicial emergency that long vacancies on the Ninth Circuit had created.

“Goodwin Liu would have made a superb jurist,” said Marge Baker of People For the American Way. “He is highly respected by legal luminaries across the political spectrum and has shown a keen understanding of the protections that the Constitution grants all Americans. As an Asian American and the child of immigrants, he would also have added some much-needed diversity to the federal bench.

“Unfortunately, Mitch McConnell and the Senate GOP decided to use Goodwin Liu to make a political point – they smeared the reputation of this respected legal mind while ignoring many of their own vows to never filibuster a judicial nominee,” Baker continued. “While McConnell and his caucus played politics, a fine American was dragged through the mud and a critical judicial seat was left open for far too long. The judiciary should never be a place for partisan mudslinging; by turning this nomination into a needless spectacle, the Senate GOP has done great harm to what should be a respectful process. Although I’m saddened by this outcome, I can’t blame Goodwin Liu for not wanting to subject his family to any more of the GOP’s partisan attacks and willful distortions of his record.”

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