Senate GOP Refuses Vote on Obama Judges, Including Pro-Abortion Goodwin Liu

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate GOP Refuses Vote on Obama Judges, Including Pro-Abortion Goodwin Liu

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 10
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — While most of the attention in the Senate last week was focused on its approval of pro-abortion activist Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination, Republicans refused votes on other judicial nominees President Barack Obama put forward. That includes pro-abortion appeals court nominee Goodwin Liu.

Senate Republicans declined in six instances last week to allow a unanimous consent request from Democrats to vote on Obama’s judicial nominees.

As a result, the Senate returned those six nominations to the White House, according to Family Research Council legislative guru Tom McClusky.

"While some of President Obama’s nominees were given a reprieve due to a deal struck between Democratic and Republican leadership two of his most controversial judicial appointees were sent back to the President (alongside 100 other nominees)," he said.

"One of the two, Goodwin Liu, nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court, is a firm believer in the rule of international law and has shown nothing but disrespect for the Senate Judiciary Committee," McClusky added.

Liu was appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and another pro-abortion nominee was Louis Butler for a federal district court position in Wisconsin.

The pro-life advocate said he expected Obama would send the nominations back to the Senate. If Obama choose to re-nominate them, they would be considered new nominations and the Senate would send them to the Judiciary Committee to full hearings.

Liu, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, is a professor at the liberal University of California, Berkeley.

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.

Butler was already on his second nomination, as Obama put him forward again in January.

In December, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines 12-7 for the nomination of Judge Louis B. Butler Jr. for a Federal District Court slot in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Opponents say Butler has a long record of judicial activism — the kind that saw the Supreme Court put Roe v. Wade in place and judges overturn pro-life laws to limit abortion.

Butler is a liberal judge who was rejected by Wisconsin voters twice.

"When Louis Butler lost his race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2008, he was the first incumbent justice to be defeated since 1967," the pro-life group Family Research Council informed "He had previously lost to then-Justice Diane S. Sykes in a race for the Court in 2000 – Butler earned 34 percent of the vote and lost in all 72 counties, including Milwaukee and Dane (Madison) counties."

"During his brief but too long tenure on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Louis Butler was a left-wing judicial activist," FRC warned.

In March 2008, Wisconsin Right to Life termed Butler "pro-abortion" and said there were "lots of reasons voters would want to reject sending Justice Louis Butler back to the State Supreme Court."


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