One Law Professor Rates Liu's Performance

Fox asked one distinguished law professor, Carl Tobias, of the University of Richmond's law school, to weigh in on Goodwin Liu's performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.

Tobias noted that he watched the entire daylong hearing.

Fox asked about the bright line that Liu drew between the writings of a legal scholar verses the job of a judge; if such a distinction is accurate; and how Professor Tobias rated Liu's performance, overall.

Here are his answers verbatim:

1) Liu drew that line over & over & his oath as a judge requires that as he would be bound by SCOTUS precedent when it is clear;

2) To some extent. There is a premium on writing provocative pieces that are theoretical & that push the envelope, though he did a nice job of explaining that he meant to push lawmakers, not judges;

3) I thought the hearing was interesting for several reasons. The senators were more civil than I expected, given recent sniping, especially @ the Exec. I thought Liu was very good @ answering the questions in several ways. He often said he was speaking to politicians, not judges; he had to follow precedent; & his personal; views were not relevant to judging. He was also willing to say that he could not answer in specific areas in which he had not worked, like the religion clause.

Finally, I thought Liu’s general demeanor- calm, clear, unflappable- spoke volumes about judicial temperament. He never seemed angry or even upset & was polite & respectful, even when the questions seemed tough or even unfair..