The Short List You Don't Want to Be On
Although the Senate has confirmed five of President Obama's judicial nominees in the first weeks of the 112th Congress, there are still 99 judicial vacancies in the federal court system. Nearly half of those vacancies qualify as "judicial emergencies," leading White House Counsel Bob Bauer to declare the situation "a matter of urgency that goes to the heart of whether we have a judiciary that functions."
That makes it all the more troubling that six nominees were voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last year and still have not received confirmation votes. One of those is Professor Goodwin Liu, who was nominated to be a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on February 24, 2010, exactly one year ago today.
As we have stated numerous times, Professor Liu is immensely qualified to serve in this position. His confirmation, however, has been delayed by obstructionist tactics and unfair attacks on his character. After the Senate failed to act on his nomination in the 111th Congress, President Obama re-nominated Professor Liu, recognizing that the seat must be filled and Professor Liu is an exceptional candidate for the job.
Fortunately, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take the first step in forwarding Professor Liu's nomination to the Senate floor--again--by holding a March 2 hearing on the nomination. E-mail your Senator today and urge him or her to support Professor Goodwin Liu's nomination. Regardless of whether your senator is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, it is still important for him or her to hear from you because all Senators will weigh in on the final confirmation vote.
Professor Liu, and the Ninth Circuit, have now waited a year. It's time to move ahead.