Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu Voted out of Committee, CAPAC Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu Calls for Full Senate Vote

Mar 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Professor Goodwin Liu, President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was reported to the Senate floor today by a 10-8 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Congresswoman Judy Chu, Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), praised the committee for their actions and urged the Senate to bring him up for a vote.

"The Senate Judiciary Committee has again recognized that Goodwin Liu is a strong candidate for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and I would urge the full Senate to move forward with his confirmation and give him the up-or-down vote he so clearly deserves,” said Chu. “After speaking with Goodwin extensively and attending his last two Judiciary Committee hearings, I have seen firsthand that he is an exceptionally well-qualified individual. I spoke directly with Senate Majority Leader Reid about Goodwin’s nomination last December, and I am pleased to see that we now have another opportunity to call a vote for his confirmation. In light of his outstanding credentials, his wide range of bipartisan supporters, and the fact that this seat is considered a ‘judicial emergency,’ Professor Liu’s nomination must move forward without delay.”

Professor Liu was first nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on February 24, 2010. He was re-nominated in the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011. His nomination has been publicly supported by a long list of supporters across the ideological spectrum, 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 has rated Liu as “Unanimously Well Qualified,” the highest rating given.

 Goodwin Liu’s confirmation is a top priority for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus due to the dearth of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on the federal bench. Currently, only 13 Asian Pacific Americans are actively serving on the bench out of 875 Article III federal judgeships. On the U.S. Court of Appeals, there is only one active Asian American judge. If confirmed, Professor Liu would only be the 6th in U.S. history.

“The federal courts must represent the diverse voices and experiences of the American people,” said Chairwoman Chu. “Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are one of the fastest growing groups in the country, and we deserve to have a judicial system that understands our community.”

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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.