It appears the Obama administration is hoping to move quickly on Goodwin Liu, the controversial Berkeley Law professor nominated for the Ninth Circuit.
The Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled a vote for this Thursday, May 6, though Republicans will likely delay the vote for one week. Democrats hold a numbers advantage on committee, so Liu is expected to pass and get in line for a floor vote by May 13 – just as the nomination for Justice John Paul Stevens is getting into full swing.
That’s when things should get interesting. If Sen. Dianne Feinstein can quickly convince a couple Republicans to support Liu, the White House could push his nomination through a filibuster. That would make it very hard for Republicans to stall Obama’s Supreme Court pick, because no names on the SCOTUS short list are as controversial as Liu. On the flip side, if Republicans stand firm against Liu, then they’d start to look unreasonable if they also try to jettison a less outspoken SCOTUS choice.
Either way, Liu is bait.
[On a related note, 82 pages of Liu parrying Republican interrogatories are available for your perusal (.pdf).]