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Gay Rights Proponent Picked for Calif. Court

Gay Rights Proponent Picked for Calif. Court

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Gov. Jerry Brown nominated a clear proponent of marriage equality to the California Supreme Court today with his pick of University of California, Berkeley, law professor Goodwin Liu.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate will remember Liu as President Obama's nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. They successfully filibustered his appointment, barring Liu from even getting an up-or-down vote based on accusations that his view are outside the mainstream. The nomination languished for more than a year before Liu withdrew in May.

Liu drew criticism in part because he was one of several professors who submitted a brief in 2007 to the California Supreme Court arguing that the state's definition of marriage as solely a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional. Critics said Liu had unfairly used the U.S. constitution to justify same-sex marriage.

And during the lead-up to a vote in California on Proposition 8, Liu testified during a hearing of the state Senate Judiciary Committee in defense of the California Supreme Court's decision to legalize gay marraige.

"Judicial activism," Liu said, "is used by all sides as shorthand for any decision they don't like."

His views on marriage equality were consistently among a long list of concerns outlined by Republicans. Meanwhile, liberals talked about Liu's potential as a future U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

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Lucas Grindley

Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.
Lucas Grindley is VP and Editorial Director for Here Media, which is parent company to The Advocate. His Twitter account is filled with politics, Philip Glass appreciation, and adorable photos of his twin toddler daughters.