Goodwin Liu is an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. He was confirmed to office by a unanimous vote of the California Commission on Judicial Appointments on August 31, 2011, following his appointment by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. He was retained by the electorate in 2014.
He was previously a professor of law and associate dean at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, before joining the court in 2011. Before that, he was a litigator in the Washington, DC, office of O’Melveny & Myers and also served in the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for National Service.
Justice Liu is a prolific and influential scholar on constitutional law and education policy. His 2006 article, “Education, Equality, and National Citizenship,” won the Steven S. Goldberg Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Education Law, conferred by the Education Law Association. Justice Liu is also a popular and acclaimed teacher. In 2009, he received UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the university’s most prestigious honor for individual excellence in teaching. The Boalt Hall Class of 2009 selected him as the faculty commencement speaker.
Justice Liu serves on the California Access to Justice Commission, the Council of The American Law Institute, the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law of the National Academy of Sciences, and the James Irvine Foundation. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Excellent Education, the American Constitution Society, the National Women’s Law Center, and the Public Welfare Foundation.
Justice Liu holds a B.S. from Stanford University, an M.Phil. from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Immediately after law school, he clerked for Judge David S. Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and later clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Supreme Court of California is the state's highest court. Its decisions are binding on all other California state courts. The court conducts regular sessions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento; it may also hold special sessions elsewhere.