This week a three-member state commission unanimously approved U.C. Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu's nomination to the California Supreme Court. Liu, who is Taiwanese-American, will join the seven-member high court, giving it a majority of Asian justices for the first time in history.
Liu is the high court's only Democrat and considered an expert on constitutional law, education policy and civil rights.
Colorlines.com's Bryan Gerhart provided some history of Liu's politics back in July, after California Governor Jerry Brown's nomination:
While he's never served as a judge, Liu's Berkeley colleagues, including conservatives strongly endorsed him during the 9th District debacle. His extensive writing includes support for affirmative action, abortion rights and same-sex marriage, but he's not simply preaching to the Left-leaning choir. He's supported government-funded vouchers for private schools and charter schools. In 2005, he helped found the California College Preparatory Academy in West Oakland, which positions him on the opposite side of teachers unions. He's it made clear, however, that his support is contingent on these schools promoting racial diversity.
Liu will fill the vacancy left by Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the only Latino on California's Supreme Court.
Liu told a San Francisco courtroom filled with family and supporters that he was "overwhelmed" by the his appointment Wednesday. He joked about how much easier it has been to gain confirmation to the state Supreme Court. Liu's federal nomination was tied up for more than two years.
"I never thought the words nomination and confirmation could be separated by a mere 36 days," Liu said after the vote, the San Jose Mercury News reported. "It has been a long journey for my family and me."
Senate Republicans blocked his appointment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year because he was "too liberal", citing what they called a "scathing" 2006 testimony against the appointment of now Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito as proof.