Hatch opposes Ninth Circuit nominee Liu, cites 'stunning confirmation conversion'

In brief remarks Thursday morning, Hatch said Liu has written extensively about how the role of judges is to find new meaning in the Constitution, which Hatch said is a sign of judicial activism.

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"Professor Liu has written that judges are literally on a search for new constitutional meaning," Hatch said. "In article after article, in speech after speech, he argued that judges on this quest for constitutional meaning may find it in such things as the concerns, conditions and evolving norms of society, social movements and practices, and shifting cultural understandings.

"No mater how you cut it, this is another way of saying that the Constitution means whatever judges say it means," Hatch said. "This is a blueprint for a judiciary that controls the Constitution."

"Professor Liu treats the Constitution as if it were written in some kind of code or disappearing ink, and treats judges as the only ones who have the key to figuring it out," he added.

Hatch also said Liu has offered different answers on how his writings should be interpreted, which seem to shift based on politics.

"Before he wants to be a judge, he argues that judges can find new meaning for the Constitution in changing cultural understanding and evolving social norms. After he wants to become a judge he tells critics to ignore that record but tells supporters to consider that record," said Hatch.

Hatch also questioned the American Bar Association's decision to say Liu is a "well-qualified" candidate, since the ABA usually requires a record of "substantial" trial experience as a lawyer or trial judge.

"So it's a little bit more than baffling," he said. "Professor Liu has none of that, none of the actual law practice and substantial trial experience as a lawyer. None."

The Senate shortly after 2 p.m. is expected to hold a cloture vote on Liu's nomination, which is expected to fail due to lack of support among Republicans.