Republicans will get a second chance to question Goodwin Liu, who is one of President Barack Obama's most contentious judicial nominees, and Liu will get another opportunity to answer the criticism.
The Senate Judiciary Committee gave notice today that it will hold a second confirmation hearing for Liu. The hearing is set for Wednesday, March 2. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a staunch supporter of the nominee, is scheduled to preside over the hearing.
Obama nominated Liu a year ago to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Widely seen as a potential future Supreme Court nominee, Liu is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He’s also a former O’Melveny & Myers associate and former clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Republican criticisms of Liu have been harsh. During his confirmation hearing in April 2010, GOP senators laid into Liu over his academic writings and his testimony in 2006 against the confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito Jr. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who voted for both of Obama’s nominees for the Supreme Court, has said he might oppose Liu.
The second hearing could include the committee’s two newest members, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Blumenthal clerked for Justice Harry Blackmun, while Lee clerked for Alito twice. When The National Law Journal asked Lee about the nomination this month, he demurred. “I will review that nomination thoroughly and carefully and give it the consideration it deserves,” Lee said.
In January, committee aides said that senators were negotiating whether any judicial nominees announced during the 111th Congress would need second hearings during the 112th. Liu would be the first.
Update (2/24): The hearing will also be the first opportunity for Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to question Liu. Coons took office in November.