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April 07, 2010

Leahy: Hell No, I Won't Delay Liu's Hearing To Give Senators Time To Examine the Record That Liu Deliberately Hid From Us

What a surprise.

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee has said he has no plans to delay the hearing on the abortion advocate President Barack Obama selected for an appeals court position. Sen. Patrick Leahy made the decision even though Goodwin Liu failed to complete 117 items on his Senate questionnaire.

As LifeNews.com reported yesterday, Senate Republicans called on Leahy and committee Democrats to delay the hearing because of the lack of a response.

Leahy replied in a statement today, saying “At the time of Professor Liu’s twice-rescheduled hearing, Committee members will have had more than seven weeks to review the nominee’s record, and two weeks to review the materials submitted to the Committee on April 5."

“I see no reason to further delay this nominee’s opportunity to appear before the Committee and respond to the questions its members may have," he added, chastising Republicans for refusing to "put political rancor aside."

The planned hearing for April 16 will now likely move ahead as planned.

If confirmed by the Senate, Liu would serve on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers pro-life legislation and lawsuits related to California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Montana.

Conservative writer Ed Whalen wrote at National Review that Liu's omissions form his questionnaire are important.

"Did Liu try to hide some of the most controversial aspects of his record from the Senate?" he asked.

"I believe that there is a disturbing pattern that Liu’s most inexplicable omissions contain some of his most controversial and incendiary comments and that this pattern reasonably invites the suspicion that Liu was indeed trying to hide aspects of his record from the Senate. Indeed, given what I've heard about White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s initial opposition to nominating Liu, I have to wonder whether Liu was equally eager to hide these aspects from the White House," he wrote.

All seven of the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked for a delay when officials discovered the omissions.

I think -- or maybe just hope -- that this candidate will be filibustered by the 41 Republicans. Sure, it would be difficult to get the Maine Sisters and Scott Brown on this, but this isn't just about abortion or an extreme left wing record.

It's also about the integrity of the process and Senators' ability to make considered judgments on nominees in light of all the evidence. If Liu is permitted to deliberately conceal his record and then get to a top court by running out the clock, that establishes a precedent and a huge incentive for other nominees to do likewise.

After all, if you succeed in hiding your records, you get approved; and even if your concealed records come to light, you pay no penalty whatsoever for the concealment. There is, therefore, no downside to lying and hiding records, and only upside.

Even Senators who are more left-leaning should be able to comprehend that allowing Liu to profit from his deception will only encourage more of that.

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posted by Ace at 02:43 PM

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