As we have previously noted, right-wing activists have waged a year-long smear campaign against legal scholar Goodwin Liu, who was nominated by President Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. Liu’s nomination was not acted on in the last Congress; he had his second confirmation hearing on March 2, 2011, and on April 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination.
In the wake of that approval, Religious Right activists are ramping up their rhetoric and demanding that Republican senators block Liu’s confirmation. On Sunday, the Oak Initiative, a dominionist Religious Right group led by self-proclaimed apostle Rick Joyner, sent activists an email alert urging them to contact their Senators and urge opposition to Liu’s confirmation. On Monday, Concerned Women for America posted an interview with Mario Diaz, CWA’s Policy Director for Legal Issues, who repeated the litany of charges right-wing activists have been hurling at Liu since his nomination in February 2010, calling him the nominee of the “extreme radical left.”
It’s worth noting one more time that Richard Painter, a former chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, has publicly endorsed Liu’s confirmation and slammed the smear campaign against him:
However, for anyone who has actually read Liu’s writings or watched his testimony, it’s clear that the attacks–filled with polemic, caricature, and hyperbole–reveal very little about this exceptionally qualified, measured, and mainstream nominee. ..
But that hasn’t kept right-wing activists, led the National Review’s Ed Whelan, from waging an all-out rhetorical attack on Liu. Some on the Religious Right are trying to take things further: at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening conference at Liberty University this past weekend, the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell said they’d be calling people into the streets of Washington D.C. to stop the nomination.