Democrats reject GOP request to delay Liu hearing

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Wednesday he will not postpone for a third time the confirmation hearing for Berkeley School of Law Professor Goodwin Liu to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and it will take place on April 16.

Republicans on Tuesday requested a third postponement because of the revelation that Liu omitted 117 items from the questionnaire he is required to complete for the panel.

Liu has submitted the missing submissions and apologized to the panel, but Republicans suspect him of intentionally hiding the items, which were uncovered by congressional staff

They include:

  • Liu's commencement speech to UC Berkeley Law
  • Participation in a panel entitled “What the 2008 Election Will Mean for the Supreme Court”
  • Participation in a presentation entitled “The Fate of Affirmative Action from the O'Connor Court to the Roberts Court”
  • Participation in an event co-sponsored by La Raza and the Center for Social Justice at Berkeley entitled “Mendez v. Westminster: 1946–A California Look at Brown v. Board of Education”
  • Participation in a conference on school funding
  • Participation in a panel entitled “The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education” at the American Constitution Society's (ACS) 2004 national convention.

<p>”These are not minor omissions,” Republicans said in the letter sent to Leahy Tuesday.  “A cursory glance at the titles of the events that Professor Liu has omitted from his Questionnaire shows that his participation in and comments during each are crucial to this Committee's review of his nomination.”

But Leahy wrote back to Republicans that he has already delayed the hearing twice.

“While I am disappointed that Professor Liu did not earlier provide the materials in the supplement sent to the Committee on April 5, the materials included there hardly disqualify him from serious consideration by this Committee,” Leahy wrote to Republicans.  “I believe a fair and thoughtful review of his record, and a public and open exchange during his confirmation hearing, will demonstrate his faithfulness to the rule of law, the Constitution, and established precedents of our judicial system.”

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