Obama Pro-Abortion Appeals Court Nominee, Goodwin Liu, Gets Senate Hearing

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 16, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Pro-Abortion Appeals Court Nominee, Goodwin Liu, Gets Senate Hearing

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 16
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Despite protests from Republicans, a pro-abortion nominee President Barack Obama put forward for a federal appeals court position is receiving a hearing today in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Obama nominated pro-abortion professor Goodwin Liu for a spot on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Liu is a professor at the liberal University of California, Berkeley and he came under fire earlier this month when officials discovered he left 117 questions blank on the official Senate judicial questionnaire.

The hearing is going forward today notwithstanding Republican objections to the short period of time they’ve had to review Liu’s recent submission of papers correcting those problems.

Liu’s nomination is seen as a test case in the ability of Obama and Senate Democrats to get a liberal,pro-abortion judge approved in the Senate in advance of a Supreme Court nomination.

The process is infuriating Republicans, who have stopped short of threatening a filibuster.

“The concern here is whether this reflects President Obama’s view of what a good judge is,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, a pro-life Alabama lawmaker who is the top Republican on the judicial panel, according to Politico.

“There is now a serious question as to whether Professor Liu has approached this process with the degree of candor and respect required of nominees who come before the committee,” Sessions told pro-abortion Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Pat Leahy on Thursday. “We can no longer extend him the benefit of the doubt that these substantial omissions—in which several of his more extreme statements appear—were a mere oversight.”

But, mindful of the Gang of 14, a group of bipartisan senators who are opposing filibusters except under "extraordinary circumstances," Sessions told Politico he would not back a filibuster — “I’m reluctant to filibuster."

Ed Whelan, a judicial expert writing at National Review, says Liu is a problem because he believes the Constitution to be a "living" document, the same view as those jurists on the Supreme Court who invented an unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy in the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton cases.

"Goodwin Liu has urged judicial invention (usually in an “interstitial” role) of constitutional rights," he writes today.

Liu "presents a volatile mix of aggressive left-wing ideology and raw inexperience," Whelan adds.

"Liu is closely aligned with various left-wing groups. For example, he is (or recently was) on the boards of directors of the American Constitution Society, the ACLU of Northern California, and the National Women’s Law Center. He apparently practiced law for about two years," he notes.

Liu has said he believes in the pro-abortion notion of a changing Constitution that can, for example, allow for unlimited abortion rights.

"What we mean by fidelity is that the Constitution should be interpreted in ways that adapt its principles and its text to the challenges and conditions of our society in every succeeding generation," Liu has said.

Liu clerked for pro-abortion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, worked in the Clinton administration, and spoke out against Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Samuel Alito.

Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council talked more about Liu’s liberal bona fides.

"Professor Liu is an outspoken liberal University of California law professor. At just 39 years old, he is already a leading light of the judicial activist left and has served as Chairman of the Board of the leftwing American Constitution Society," he says. "He opposed the confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts and testified against Justice Alito’s confirmation. This is one of President Obama’s most controversial judicial appointments to date. "

If Liu receives the approval of the committee, political observers are watching to see how quickly his nomination gets to the Senate floor for a debate and vote — which could become a preview of the timeline of approving a Supreme Court nominee.

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.