Would Goodwin Liu Sink the Left-Leaning 9th Circuit? — Debra J. Saunders

One: “We had an election. A Democrat won. And the president can pick who he likes.” To wit: Liu — a Rhodes scholar and graduate of Stanford and Oxford universities and Yale Law School who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — is highly qualified. Republicans should not use delay tactics and the filibuster to thwart a full-Senate up-or-down vote on Liu.

Two: “Because federal judges receive lifetime appointments and often serve through the terms of multiple presidents, it behooves a president — and benefits our democracy — to find moderate nominees who can garner some measure of bipartisan support.”

That is: The opposition party has an obligation to fight extremists. Note: The National Journal’s legal authority, Stuart Taylor Jr., estimates that Liu’s writings put “him markedly to the ideological left of all 41 Senate Republicans, at least half of the Democrats, and 80 percent or more of voters.”

Here’s the tricky part. The first quote comes from a phone conversation with John Yoo, a UC Berkeley law prof reviled by the left because he wrote the 2002 memos that authorized the CIA to use enhanced interrogation techniques.

The latter quote comes from Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope” in defense of Senate Democrats’ use of the filibuster against President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. By Obama’s precious standard, Republicans are within their rights to try to torpedo Liu’s nomination.

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