Senate Panel to Reconsider Obama’s Pro-Abortion Judicial Picks Liu, Chen, Butler

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 20, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senate Panel to Reconsider Obama’s Pro-Abortion Judicial Picks Liu, Chen, Butler

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 20
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider sixteen of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees during a hearing Thursday, including several who have been panned for advocating abortion. Some of the more controversial nominees include Goodwin Liu, Edward Chen and Louis Butler, nominated to appeals court and district court positions.

The nominees made it past the committee before but, since they never received Senate votes and time ran out on their nominations, Obama nominated them again.

Liu, nominated to become to a United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is most infamous for his beliefs that the Constitution evolves per the view of judges.

Chen, nominated to a district court judgeship in California, and Butler nominated to become a distract court judge in Wisconsin, are also pro-abortion.

Goodwin Liu is a professor at the liberal University of California, Berkeley and 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 wrote previously.

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.

Meanwhile, Obama nominated Edward Chen, a U.S. Magistrate, was nominated for a federal judgeship in San Francisco. Chen is a former attorney for the pro-abortion legal group ACLU.

The Senate sent Chen’s name back to the White House in December because Republicans filibustered his nomination and Democrats apparently didn’t have the 60 votes needed to confirm him.

The Senate Judiciary Committee signed off on Chen’s nomination last October on a 12-7 party-line vote.

Chen would become the first Asian-American judge to sit in the Northern District of California, which stretches from Northern District of California but conservative columnist Warner Todd Huston says Chen is out of the mainstream.

"Well, for one, the left-wing American Bar Association rated Chen a ‘well qualified’ nominee and many of his associates at the ACLU speak highly of him," he said. "Chen was quite the ACLU activist between 1979 and 2001. His ACLU history would suffice to make many wary of him, of course."

Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee previously voted along party lines 12-7 for the nomination of Judge Louis 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."

ACTION: Contact members of the committee at and urge a no vote on the nominations.


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