CAPAC Urges Senate to Confirm Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Mar 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) will attend the judicial confirmation hearing to show their strong support for Professor Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Liu is scheduled to have his second hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee later this afternoon.

“There is a dearth of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on the federal bench.  We make up nearly 5 percent of the American population, but today there is only one active Asian-American judge on the United States Court of Appeals. If confirmed, Professor Liu would only be the 6th in U.S. history.  The federal court must represent the diverse makeup of the American people. That is why the Senate should confirm Professor Liu, who is exceptionally well qualified for this position and has a long list of supporters across the ideological spectrum,” said CAPAC Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA).

“President Obama has nominated an accomplished and well qualified individual for the United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit.” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Civil Rights Chair of CAPAC. “From Associate at O’Melveny & Myers to Supreme Court Clerk to Associate Dean and Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law,  Professor Liu has a distinguished career in law and public service.  He also has the benefit of having wide bipartisan support for his nomination.  It is my hope that the Senate will quickly confirm this qualified candidate.”

President Obama first nominated Professor Liu over a year ago on February 24, 2010. He was renominated in the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011.  Liu’s first confirmation hearing was held on April 16, 2010 where he provided extensive testimony for over three and a half hours. 

The lack of Asian Pacific American representation on the federal bench has been one of CAPAC’s top concerns.  Currently, only 13 Asian Pacific Americans are actively serving on the bench out of 875 Article III federal judgeships. If confirmed, Liu, who is of Taiwanese descent, will join Judge Denny Chin of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals as the second Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge nominated by President Obama. 

Professor Liu has a long list of bipartisan supporters, including leading conservatives like Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, Clint Bolick from the Goldwater Institute, Richard Painter who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and William T. Coleman who served as Secretary of Transportation for President Ford. The American Bar Association rated Liu as “Unanimously Well Qualified,” the highest rating given.

“Given the high case loads and judicial emergency that exists in our country, it is imperative that Professor Liu’s nomination move forward without delay,” said Chu. “CAPAC urges the Judiciary Committee to report Professor Liu’s nomination to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation, and he should be given an up or down vote as soon as possible.”


The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.