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California Supreme Court appointee got state bar's highest rating

Goodwin Liu

UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu, appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court, received the state bar’s highest rating of  “exceptionally well-qualified,” the court announced Monday.

In preparation for Liu’s confirmation hearing Wednesday, the state high court released Liu’s bar rating  and letters in favor and against his nomination. Liu is expected to be easily confirmed.

“Professor Liu possesses a brilliant intellect, along with exceptional gifts for research and writing which allow him to parse complex and obscure legal doctrines and present them in the form of viable and understandable concepts,”  Alice A. Salvo, chairwoman of the state Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, wrote in a letter to Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Salvo said the commission found that Liu was impartial and fair.

“He approaches all his decisions with deliberation and objectivity," Salvo wrote. “He considers all points of view and is respectful of those expressing them.”

Liu was President Obama’s choice for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals at the time a seat opened up on the California Supreme Court. Conservative Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked the confirmation, giving Brown the opportunity to put Liu on the seven–member state high court.


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Photo: UC Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu in his office in March 2010. Credit: Laura Morton / For The Times

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