April 19, 2010

Goodwin Liu & Clarence Thomas

The following quote, attributed to CFJ Executive Director Curt Levey, aired Friday in a story about 9th Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and also appeared in a print story on NPR’s web site:
“Goodwin Liu is not your typical liberal. He's very far out on the left wing, even in academia. So I think you could think of Liu as the Democratic Clarence Thomas.”
In response to questions about the quote, we present Mr. Levey’s unedited remarks below. With the full context – including the 78 words omitted between the second and third sentences of the quote – we hope it’s clear that Mr. Levey intended the comparison to be about grooming Liu for a seat on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Levey’s unedited remarks (excerpts used by NPR are in caps):
“Everybody expected Obama to nominate liberals to the federal courts, and that's what he's done, but GOODWIN LIU IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL LIBERAL. HE'S VERY FAR OUT ON THE LEFT-WING, EVEN OF ACADEMIA. He is an unabashed defender, really advocate, of judicial activism, and add on top of that, the fact that I think everyone knows that Obama would love to groom him for a spot on the Supreme Court. Obama would love to, you know, be able to say that he nominated the first Asian to the Supreme Court. As you know, it's been almost forty years since somebody who was not a judge was appointed to the Supreme Court. SO I THINK THAT YOU CAN THINK OF GOODWIN LIU AS THE DEMOCRATIC CLARENCE THOMAS. I think everyone knows that he's being groomed to be on the Supreme Court, and you know, that scares people because he's to the left of even Justice Ginsburg.”

Update: BigJournalism.com reports on this matter.


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