Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement on the Republican filibuster of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Goodwin Liu:
Today is an extremely sad day for American justice as all but one Republican Senator chose to block a final vote on Goodwin Liu, one of the most remarkable, highly qualified, and well-respected judicial nominees in recent memory. The vote to sustain the filibuster relied almost exclusively on dishonest and distorted attacks on Professor Liu’s record and character. Not only have the American people been denied a great judge, and Asian Americans in Western states denied representation on the federal bench, but the judiciary itself has once again been subjected to the kind of destructive obstructionist tactics that have precipitated a national crisis in the courts.
We find it disheartening that consistency and truth have been sacrificed in the name of crass political posturing. We also reject the transparently false idea that somehow the Liu nomination falls within the concept of “extraordinary circumstances,” as spelled out in the “Gang of 14” agreement of 2005.
The only thing extraordinary about the circumstances surrounding this vote is the amount of hypocrisy and cynicism emanating from Republican Senators, who should stop pretending this filibuster has anything to do with principle, and admit they blocked a vote on Goodwin Liu because they didn’t want a person of his caliber on the bench.
The notion that Goodwin Liu lies so far outside the judicial mainstream that the Senate should not even be permitted to have a final vote on his nomination is belied by his record but also by the numerous bipartisan endorsements he received, including those of very prominent conservatives.
Although we are deeply disappointed by today’s vote, we believe it is more important than ever that the President and the Senate address the continuing crisis in the federal courts, significantly accelerate the pace of nominations and confirmations, and end the political games that are damaging justice in our nation.