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Goodwin Liu and Robert Chatigny: Obama’s Worst Judicial Nominees Yet?

Both nominees have shown an arrogant contempt for the law and a total disregard for the limited role of the judiciary in a democracy.

by
Joel Mandelman

Bio

September 21, 2010 - 10:00 am

The U.S. Senate will soon consider two of Barack Obama’s worst judicial nominations: Goodwin Liu for a seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Robert Chatigny to the 2nd Circuit.

Both nominees have shown an arrogant contempt for the law, a total disregard for the limited role of the judiciary in a democracy, and a brutal inclination to abuse judicial power to impose their own peculiar left-wing ideologies on the American people.

Liu, currently a professor at the University of California, makes no secret of his socialist proclivities or his willingness to impose those views via judicial dictation. No elections, no referenda, no legislative debates, no executive branch review. Just the tyranny of one unelected judge imposing his will on the American people.

In a 2008 Stanford Law Review article, Liu wrote that judicial recognition of welfare rights was mandatory:

Courts should leverage the legislature’s own publicly stated commitment to welfare … and then inquire whether or not apparent qualifications on that commitment comprise part of the social understanding of the commitment itself.

In other words: if the judge thinks the legislature has not raised welfare benefits sufficiently, or has refused to provide welfare benefits to illegal aliens or convicted felons, then it is up to the judge to destroy the legislature’s decisions, or the public’s choice in a referendum, and to impose his own views of how the taxpayers’ money ought to be spent.

Want illegal aliens to attend state universities, and to pay lower tuition than out-of-state American citizens? Don’t ask the people. Don’t ask the governor. Don’t ask an elected state legislature. Ask Judge Liu to “leverage the legislature.”

This judicial radicalism can — and according to Professor Liu, must — be extended to public education, public housing, and who knows what else.

If a state university system is not large enough to accommodate all applicants, Judge Liu will order the building of a new campus. If rents are too high, Judge Liu will order the state or city to build more public housing. Judge Liu will mandate it because he believes the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause allegedly “commands” it, whether 135 years of American constitutional law and American history support his judicial decisions or not.

Robert Chatigny is already a federal trial judge in Connecticut. In that role, Chatigny has repeatedly abused his powers, ignored the will of Congress, and defied federal law to coddle dangerous, violent sex offenders and child pornographers.

In 12 child pornography cases, he violated federal law by issuing less severe prison sentences than are mandated by federal sentencing guidelines.

He gave reasons as nonsensical as the “defendant had an abusive childhood,” the defendant had performed “community service,” the child porn aficionado was “otherwise a law abiding citizen,” and the defendant had been fired for viewing child porn in the office.

In a more horrifying case — and a frightening example of abuse of judicial power — Chatigny repeatedly sympathized with a psychotic serial killer who had raped and murdered eight women.

Chatigny expressed profound sympathy for the killer, claiming that the killer suffered from ”death row syndrome,” and that “because the defendant was a sexual sadist [he] should never have been sentenced to death.”

America cannot survive much more of Liu’s or Chatigny’s activism. Both nominations must be rejected by the U.S. Senate.

Joel Mandelman is an attorney in Arlington, Virginia. He served as the Deputy General Counsel to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1984 to 1986.
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