The recent unexpected death of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was almost immediately followed by speculation about his replacement. Equal attention has been given to the question of whether the Republican-controlled Senate will permit a confirmation vote. While media-based candidacies abound, two Californians — both esteemed Asian Pacific American judges — should be given strong consideration. Each possesses impeccable judicial credentials, combined with outstanding personal experiences, which would have an immediate and positive impact on the Supreme Court. Nominating either of them would be historic.
Justice Goodwin Liu has been an associate justice of the California Supreme Court since 2011. In sharp contrast to the bruising confirmation battle for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, during which time he was vilified by Senate Republicans as being a left-wing ideologue, Liu was confirmed unanimously to the California Supreme Court in 2011.