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ACTION ALERT: Calls Needed to Support Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu
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ACTION ALERT: Calls Needed to Support Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu

Professor Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, May 13. You can support him by calling Senate Judiciary Committee members this week at 202-224-3121 and asking them to vote for Professor Liu.
The OCA National Center and former OCA General Counsel, John C. Yang and Chancellor of the University of California Hastings, Frank H. Wu have been working closely with Asian Pacific American Judicial appointments.Please see information below for important action item:
May 10, 2010

Dear friends and colleagues at OCA:

We write to you to celebrate a significant achievement for our community and to ask for your help to ensure its realization. On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated University of California Berkeley School of Law Associate Dean and Professor Goodwin H. Liu to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Liu’s nomination is vital because, up until the recent confirmation of Judge Denny Chin to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Second Circuit, there were no Asian Pacific American judges among the approximately 175 active federal appellate court jurists nationwide. Prior to Judge Chin’s confirmation, it had been over five years since an Asian Pacific American federal actively served as an appellate court judge, and in the history of the United States, only four Asian Pacific Americans had ever served as federal appellate court judges. Professor Liu joins Judge Chin as the second Asian Pacific American federal appellate court nomination by the President. If confirmed, Professor Liu would be the only Asian Pacific American among the 25 active federal appellate court judges in the Ninth Circuit, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. That statistic is shocking given that over 12% of the population of that region is Asian Pacific American.

Professor Liu has outstanding credentials and experience that make him undoubtedly qualified to serve as a federal appellate court judge. Professor Liu graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, where he studied Biology. He then studied philosophy at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. A graduate of Yale Law School, Professor Liu was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and received several other awards while he was a student. Professor Liu’s outstanding record earned him a clerkship with Judge Davis S. Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Liu has also demonstrated a commitment to public service. He was a Senior Program Officer for Higher Education at the Corporation for National Service in Washington, D.C., where he helped launch the AmeriCorps program. He also served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, where he advised the advised the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on a wide range of legal and policy issues. Professor Liu also has private sector experience as a former member of the litigation practice of O’Melveny & Meyers in Washington, D.C.

In 2003, Professor Liu returned to his home state of California to join the faculty of UC Berkeley School of Law, one of the nation’s top law schools, and quickly earned tenure and promotion to Associate Dean in five years. Professor Liu was also elected to the prestigious American Law Institute in 2008, received UC Berkeley’s most prestigious award for teaching excellence in 2009, and is a recognized expert on educational and constitutional law.

Professor Liu was born in Augusta, Georgia. His parents were Taiwanese doctors recruited to work in the United States by American medical institutions seeking assistance in serving underserved areas. Living in Georgia and then Florida in the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s, Professor Liu did not learn to speak English until kindergarten because his parents worried that Liu and his brother would acquire an accent if they were taught at home. The family then moved to Sacramento in 1977. Professor Liu’s interest in public service and the law was sparked when he served as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks to the sponsorship of the late Congressman Robert Matsui.

Professor Liu’s confirmation is important because our community is significantly underrepresented in the federal courts. Out of approximately 875 federal judgeships, there are only 10 Asian Pacific American judges, and until the recent confirmation of Judge Denny Chin to the Second Circuit, none of them were serving in a federal appeals court. Professor Liu’s confirmation to serve as a federal appellate judge would be a monumental step in building a foundation for Asian Americans to strive and serve on all levels of the federal judicial system.

We respectfully ask for your help in getting Professor Liu confirmed by the Senate. We have provided you with information about how you can contact your Senators to let them know how important Professor’s Liu’s confirmation is to our community. We hope that you review and distribute these materials and begin to let your community know about this historic nomination and how critical it is for us to have Professor Liu confirmed. With your help, we are confident Professor Liu’s confirmation can become a reality.


John C. Yang                                                   Frank H. Wu
NAPABA Judiciary Committee                         Chancellor & Dean Designate
Co-Chair & Past President;                              University of California Hastings
Past OCA General Counsel                              College of the Law
Please visit for additional information regarding APA Judicial Nominees. Take Action Now by calling or writing to Senate Judiciary Committee members this week.
If you have any questions please contact Mary Kong at 
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