Until last Friday, I did not realize that the Obama administration is apparently using Frank Morgan’s performance as the Wizard of Oz as training material for its judicial nominees. What else can one make of Ninth Circuit nominee Goodwin Liu’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee? Liu said, in reference to his past legal writings, “whatever I may have written in the books and the articles would have no bearing on my action as a judge.”
Obviously, his handlers must think that Morgan’s line when Toto pulls back the curtain on the wizard makes for a good answer to explain embarrassingly radical writings: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” Except Liu changed that line slightly to essentially, “Pay no attention to that man behind those writings.” Are we really expected to believe that Liu, as Conn Carroll points out, has renounced all of his past legal beliefs? Or does his answer provide us with a very telling insight into the principles of a lawyer who is apparently willing to refute (under oath) everything he has ever said or done in order to get a federal judgeship?