Thursday, May 13, 2010

Goodwin Liu Approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Strict Party Lines 12-7 for 9th Circuit Seat : 2 of the 7 Do Not Even Have Law Degrees : One is a Part-Time Physician

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog calls it A Win for Liu (But Not Necessarily a Good Win.
See also Goodwin Liu's controversial judicial nomination approved by Senate committee.

It is rather bizarre the way the Senate has handled this case -- see Goodwin Liu and the Case of the Missing Brown Bag.

As noted about Liu's background at
"The son of Taiwanese immigrants, Professor Liu was born in 1970 in Augusta, GA. At the age of 3, his family moved to Clewiston, FL, and in 1977 they moved to Sacramento, CA, where Liu's parents remain. Professor Liu earned his bachelors degree from Stanford University and his masters degree from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. Professor Liu is a graduate of Yale Law School, and is the first in his family to earn a law degree.

Professional career

Prior to becoming a professor in 2003, Professor Liu was an appellate litigator at O'Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and for Judge David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Professor Liu was also a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education and as senior program officer at the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps). Liu was named associate dean of UC Berkeley School of Law in 2008."
For the GOP and seven members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Liu's only true drawback is that he does not have a Republican Party membership card in his back pocket. Again, as a political centrist, this kind of flagrant partisan politics by Senators whose legally-related backgrounds are far less impressive than those of Liu, is a source of irritation to this writer. Two of the seven no-voting Republican members of the Judiciary Committee do not even have law degrees. What are they doing as members in this -- the Judiciary -- Committee??

Here - for comparison - are the essential legally-related (or not) backgrounds of the seven GOP Senators who voted against Liu.

Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont - "A graduate of Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont (1961), he received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center (1964)".

Jeff Sessions, Alabama - "Huntingdon College in Montgomery ... Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969.... Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Alabama ... 1973".

Orrin G. Hatch, Utah - "He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, and of the University of Pittsburgh Law School."

Chuck Grassley, Iowa - "He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa (B.A., 1955; M.A. 1956)"

Jon Kyl, Arizona - "Kyl is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he received both his bachelor's and law degrees."

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina - "He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina in Columbia."

Jon Cornyn, Texas - "He is a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law, both in San Antonio."

Tom Coburn, Oklahoma - "He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University (1970) and the University of Oklahoma Medical School (1983)."

The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution has the following leadership:

The Constitution
Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin
"He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1975) and earned a degree of Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (1977). He also received a degree from Harvard Law School (1979)."
Ranking Member:
Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma
Coburn does not even have a law degree and is known as "Dr. No" in the Senate for trying to create as much chaos in the Senate as he can. As written at the New York Times:

"Mr. Coburn goes home on weekends to Muskogee []Oklahoma], where he treats patients on Mondays....

Mr. Coburn hosts a twice-a-week Webcast, "The Senate Doctors Show," with Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, an orthopedic surgeon who once practiced at the same Casper, Wyo. hospital where Mr. Coburn was born....

Mr. Coburn spends as little time as possible in Washington, a place he seems to genuinely dislike. An ordained Southern Baptist deacon, he attends church every Sunday back in Muskogee and teaches a Bible study class.

Now, if someone like Coburn is the ranking member for the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on The Constitution, then it does not take partisan wisdom of any kind to understand why the country is in such terrible shape. That people like Coburn have a vote in whether an eminently competent man like Liu will or will not become a Circuit Court Judge is one of the sad realities of American politics.

Mozilla Firefox 4 Outlined at Faster Forward at the Washington Post

Faster Forward by Rob Pegoraro at the Washington Post reports that Firefox developers outline next version - that will be Firefox 4.

After reading the report, I am a bit worried about the statement that Firefox will "look a good deal more like Google's Chrome browser". Our view is, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. We don't like or use Chrome, so we hope that Mozilla will keep us, the mass of happy Firefox users in mind.

Blur Goes to Law School : A Legal Gig reported at Legalweek

Alex Aldridge at Legalweek reports a legal human interest story about Blur drummer Dave Rowntree and his new legal gig.

Video: Hay, here's a great idea how to clean up the BP oil spill — Autoblog Green

Video: Hay, here's a great idea how to clean up the BP oil spill — Autoblog Green

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

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