April 16th, 2010
01:02 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama judicial nominee faces tough Senate scrutiny

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/16/art.goodwinliu3.gi.jpg caption ="Goodwin Liu, a federal judicial nominee, faced intense scrutiny from Senate Republicans over his liberal views and his preparation for his confirmation hearings."]Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans offered a cool reception Friday to a federal judicial nominee who has become a political lightning rod over his liberal views and his preparation for confirmation hearings.

Lawmakers on both sides traded barbs over Goodwin Liu's qualifications and his past statements on a variety of hot-button topics during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

If confirmed, Liu, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, would be the only Asian-American currently on the appeals courts, the level just below the Supreme Court. President Obama nominated him for a seat on the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in February.

During his testimony, the 39-year-old Liu calmly addressed the concerns of GOP senators.

"The question is if this the right job for you," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who cited Liu's lack of judicial experience and his late submission of professional documents - including past speeches and writings - required by the committee.

The nominee omitted 117 items from a committee questionnaire on his background. The items were eventually submitted and Liu acknowledged GOP frustration, and said, "I'm very sorry for the omission of information in my initial submission."