Lee Opposes Appellate Court Nomination

May 19, 2011

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee expressed his profound objection to the nomination of Goodwin Liu as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Senator Lee articulated two primary reasons for opposing the nomination.

“First, I am truly dismayed by the lack of judgment displayed in Professor Liu’s 2006 testimony regarding the confirmation of Samuel Alito as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” said Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Assistant U.S. Attorney. 

During the confirmation hearing of Justice Alito, Liu made controversial and inflammatory remarks misrepresenting Justice Alito’s judicial record.

“His comments about Justice Alito were offensive not simply because they were unhelpful in his confirmation process, but because they were a misleading and unwarranted personal attack on a dedicated public servant.”

“Professor Liu’s treatment of Justice Alito, and his last minute and incomplete handling of the concerns raised by his remarks, lead me to believe that he lacks the judgment and discretion to be confirmed to a life-tenured position in the judiciary.”

Senator Lee also explained that “the judicial philosophy espoused by Professor Liu is fundamentally inconsistent with the judicial mandate to be a neutral arbiter of the Constitution and to uphold the rule of law.”

“Throughout the course of numerous speeches, articles, and books, Professor Liu has championed a philosophy that in my judgment is incompatible with faithfully discharging the duties of an appellate court judge in our constitutional republic,” he added.

Lee concluded: “Professor Liu’s appalling treatment of Justice Alito leaves grave doubt in my mind as to whether he possesses the requisite judgment to serve as a life-tenured judge.  And I have come to the conclusion that Professor Liu’s extreme judicial philosophy is simply incompatible with the proper role of a judge in our constitutional republic.  For these reasons, as well as those articulated by many of my colleagues, I am compelled to oppose this nomination.”

Click Here for Senator Lee's Full Remarks