president obama renominates edward chen and goodwin liu

When the Senate adjourned last year, it left two of President Obama's judicial nominees, UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu and federal magistrate Edward Chen, hanging out in the wind without confirmation. Basically, they got blocked by right-wing smear campaigns and Republican obstruction.

This week, President Obama re-nominated 42 candidates for federal judgeships who were denied Senate confirmations votes in the last session -- including both Goodwin Liu and Edward Chen. Unfortunately, winning their confirmation isn't going to be any easier this time around: Obama renews push for Bay Area judgeships.
Liu, 40, a UC Berkeley professor since 2003, was nominated by Obama in February to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He is a former Rhodes scholar and Supreme Court clerk whose nomination won the highest rating from the American Bar Association.

Republican leaders have portrayed him as an ultra-liberal, citing his support for same-sex marriage and affirmative action, his chairmanship of the left-leaning American Constitution Society and his outspoken opposition to Samuel Alito, President George W. Bush's 2006 Supreme Court appointee.

Chen, 57, was first nominated by Obama to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco in August 2009 and, like Liu, has won party-line votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee but has yet to receive a floor vote.

He was appointed a magistrate by Bay Area federal judges in 2001, hearing bail requests and other pretrial motions and presiding over some trials. He was also an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer for 16 years.
One out of eight federal judgeships is vacant, we have a backlog in our courts, and the Senate has two clearly qualified nominees in Chen and Liu. The delays and obstruction in the Senate are a simply a waste of everyone's time. More here: Follow-up on Goodwin Liu, Edward Chen nominations.

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