Legal Times reports that Senators McCain, Isakson, and Graham are supporting the filibuster of 9th Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu, and that all are citing the same reason: Liu’s inflammatory testimony against Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito in 2006.
Reasonable people can disagree about whether Liu should be confirmed. And the opposition to Liu’s nomination obviously goes beyond his Alito testimony. At the same time, I would guess Liu knew when he submitted his testimony that it would make it difficult to be confirmed to a judgeship someday himself. Offering over-the-top testimony in a hotly-contested Supreme Court nomination hearing is a classic career-limiting move: As much as it pleases your team, it enrages the other side. Anyone familiar with the judicial confirmation process would have realized that. Perhaps things would have played out the same way even if Liu had not testified as he did back in 2006. We’ll never know. But this aspect of his candidacy strikes me as a self-inflicted wound.