President Obama recently nominated Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Liu, who received his undergraduate education at Stanford, went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and then taught at UC Berkeley Law School.
Goodwin Liu’s experiences at Stanford are detailed in this April 23rd Stanford Review article. But in the interview below, alumnus and former Stanford Review journalist Eric Krock (’92) shares his memories and thoughts on Liu.
What can you say about Goodwin Liu’s politics when he was at Stanford with you?
*Goodwin Liu had strong left-wing political views, but even as a college student, he was very smooth in how he presented himself. He chose to join a radical left-wing political movement, the People’s Platform, and to run on their slate to be on the Council of Presidents and to act as their spokesperson. He was very skilled at putting a moderate face on a very left-wing political agenda and in using non-threatening, non-controversial vocabulary. *
How will these traits translate to the senate confirmation hearings?
*I have no doubt that he will present himself very well during senate confirmation hearings, but because he is so smooth and so skilled in knowing how to present himself in the best light possible, I wonder how effectively senators will be able to evaluate how he will truly perform once he is a member of the judiciary. *
**Was Goodwin Liu well liked by the student body?
*It’s hard to say, there were 6,000 students…It’s a little hard to generalize. On the one hand he did manage to get his slate elected as Council of Presidents, although it was an election in which the student body was never given the opportunity for a runoff due to a controversial decision to invalidate ballots…I would hesitate frankly to try to speak for the student body as a whole, what I would say is I’m sure there were plenty of people who liked him a lot, but there was also some definite discomfort with the People’s Platform with how political and how smooth he was at the same time. *
What did you think about the ASSU passing resolutions on non-campus related issues like the First Gulf War?
*I thought it was a complete charade. I thought it was a bunch of highly political people who wanted to opine on national and international issues that they hadn’t been elected to opine on, and failing to do a good job of what they’d been elected to do, which was to manage the student finances and student budget and activities. It reminded me of the San Francisco City Council. *