Goodwin Liu, the radical law professor Preident Obama nominated to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a straight party vote this week. However, I continue to think there’s a good chance Liu won’t clear the full Senate.
Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, cleared the Judiciary Committee last year, but never got a vote on the Senate floor. Liu is considered by many Senate Republicans to be at least as radical as Johnsen. And he is seeking a life-time appointment.
There may also be some Democratic Senators who would rather not vote for Liu — supporter of reparations for African Americans, among other leftist ideas — in an election year. Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson (although he’s not running this year) come to mind. Even Harry Reid, who faces a tough re-election campaign in a state encompassed by the Ninth Circuit, is probably not too enthusiastic about this one.
UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Liu’s best shot at confirmation might occur after the November election, during the lame duck session. One would hope, however, that the Republicans would be able at that point to stick together and block the confirmation of a nominee who (in this scenario) was radioacitve during the election season.
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