Ben Nelson was wrong on Goodwin Liu

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was the sole Democrat to side with the GOP in a successful effort to prevent a vote on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Liu’s nomination was supported by the National Employment Lawyers Association, a group representing plaintiff’s side-employment attorneys. In an e-mail to members, NELA stated it supported Liu “based on his record of commitment to and respect for justice and  equality in the workplace.”

As pointed out by Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, Nelson voted for cloture on many appeals court nominations made by President George W. Bush.  In 2005 Nelson wrote that “the president’s nominees, especially to the Supreme Court, deserve an up-or-down vote” in regards to his vote on Justice Samuel Alito the United States Supreme Court. Apprarently Nelson believes President Obama deserves less deference that President Bush. Nelson’s vote is even more infuriating considering the impeccable credentials possessed by Professor Liu who was a Rhodes Scholar and a clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Nelson’s vote against against cloture on Liu is even more outrageous than his vote against confirming Elena Kagan. As a longtime participant and observer of politics in Nebraska, I think such efforts to mollify conservatives are stupid and futile. Nelson’s vote on Liu will do nothing to calm conservative animosity while it will just dampen further the lack of enthusiasm among progressives in Nebraska for Ben Nelson. While progressives are a minority in Nebraska, their support is the lifeblood of any successful Democratic campaign in this state.

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