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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Press Release - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Civil and Human Rights Coalition Denounces Use of Partisan Filibuster to Deny Senate Confirmation Vote on Goodwin Liu
Highly Qualified Legal Scholar Deserves Up-or-Down Vote on Nomination

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
May 19, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national civil and human rights organizations, issued the following statements following the Republican-led filibuster of  Professor Goodwin Liu’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

“Today’s filibuster of Goodwin Liu is a reckless escalation in the ongoing campaign by the Senate’s Republican minority to delay and deny confirmation votes to scores of well-qualified judicial nominees,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference.

“The disrespect Republicans have shown to our federal courts is beyond disturbing,” Henderson said. “Some nominees have been forced to put their lives and careers on hold for up to two years. But the greatest cost has been to justice itself and the people of our nation who depend on the federal courts to enforce their rights and settle their disputes. Courtrooms without judges are simply incapable of dispensing justice.”

“America’s courts are being held hostage to a stubborn minority of senators placing politics above responsible stewardship of our judicial system,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference. “Highly qualified nominees like Professor Liu deserve to have an up-or-down confirmation vote on the Senate floor.

“We commend those senators who put partisan politics aside today to vote to allow a confirmation vote on Professor Liu,” Zirkin said. “And we urge senators of both political parties to follow suit and give advice and consent to the president’s nominees. It’s their responsibility to a functioning justice system and to our Constitution.”

Liu, who was nominated 15 months ago and approved three times by the Senate Judiciary Committee, is a renowned legal scholar, an award-winning teacher, and a savvy lawyer. Despite the partisan obstruction, Liu’s nomination has attracted support from across the political and ideological spectrum, including from such well-known conservatives as Kenneth Starr, former Representative Tom Campbell, and Richard Painter.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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