President Barack Obama announced his nomination of Goodwin Liu LAW ’98 to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a statement today, calling him a “first-rate legal mind” and “loyal public servant.”

Liu, who currently serves as Associate Dean of the Law School at the University of California, Berkeley, has garnered attention in the past for voicing opposition to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s LAW ’75 approach to capital punishment. Liu testified against Alito during Alito’s confirmation proceedings in 2006. If confirmed, Liu would be the only full-time Asian American Justice on a U.S. Court of Appeals; Wallace Tashima, another judge on the Ninth Circuit Court, assumed senior status in 2004.

In a Los Angeles Times article published today, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California praised Liu’s “kind demeanor and good temperament,” saying that he drew broad support from both sides of the aisle. Obama appointees, including former Law School Dean Harold Koh, have generally faced strong opposition from conservatives in Congress.

Read more in tomorrow’s News.